MiWi and MiWi P2P are proprietary wireless protocols designed by Microchip Technology that uses small, low-power digital radios based on the IEEE 802.15.4 standard for wireless personal area networks (WPANs).
It is designed for low data transmission rates and short distance, cost constrained networks, such as industrial monitoring and control, home and building automation, remote control, low-power wireless sensors, lighting control and automated meter reading.
Microchip has released two application notes which present technical information on MiWi. These are not primarily protocol specifications and more than half of these documents are focussed on implementing the MiWi protocol on Microchip microcontrollers.
On the PIC platform, the MiWi protocol stacks are small foot-print alternatives (3K-17K) to ZigBee (40K-100K), which makes them useful for cost-sensitive applications with limited memory. Although the MiWi software can all be downloaded for free from its official website, there exists a unique restriction and obligation to use it only with Microchip microcontrollers.
In 2008, Microchip released a 2.4 GHz wireless transceiver module that is compatible with certain Microchip PIC and dsPIC microcontrollers, and can be used in production devices. Being ZigBee compliant, and capable of communicating using MiWi wireless protocols, it is based on the IEEE 802.15.4 Wireless PAN standard. Designed only for low-data rates and being low-cost, it has an integrated PCB antenna. The module is regulatory-agency certified for the USA (Federal Communications Commission (FCC)), Canada (Industry Canada) and Europe (ETSI), and would save money for small and medium project designers, by eliminating the need to receive independent FCC certification for their wireless products.
The Microchip ZENA (or formerly, Zigbee Enhanced Network Analyzer) is a wireless packet sniffer and network analyzer following the IEEE 802.15.4 specification on the 2.4 GHz band. The ZENA analyzer supports both the ZigBee and MiWi protocols. Accompanying software can analyze network traffic and graphically display decoded packets. It can also display the network topology and the messages as they flow through the network. With the provided key of the network, data on encrypted MiWi networks can be sniffed and viewed as well.
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