6LoWPAN Protocol, IEEE 802.15.4 Wireless Modules


IDT’s 6LoWPAN wireless modules enable secure low-power communication for sensors and small Internet of Things (IoT) devices. IDT provides a user-programmable, royalty-free stack with mesh routing capability. The IEEE 802.15.4-based modules are ideal for sensors and other IoT small devices used in industry and building automation, smart city lighting, environmental sensing, health monitoring, smart metering, and keyless entry systems.

6LoWPAN wireless modules offer:

  • Compatibility with all IPv6 standards – Native communication with computers of mobile devices through IEEE 802.15.4
  • Lower power – Maximizes battery life
  • Small footprint – Compact modules ideal for solutions with size constraints
  • FCC and CE certification – Sub-GHz transceiver module is certified for use in North America and Europe
  • Standard firmware – Features IDT SensorShare™ firmware, a 6LoWPAN protocol open standard stack, with no associated license fees and no royalties
  • Mesh routing features – Self-healing ad-hoc mesh network to cover large areas and long ranges
  • End-to-end security – Secure communication based on open standard protocols


IDT’s 6LoWPAN modules act as gateways and sensor nodes to enable easier sensor networking. 

IDT’s portfolio of 6LoWPAN wireless modules are ideal for applications that have low bandwidth and power requirements, as well as applications requiring more firmware storage and processing power.

About the 6LoWPAN Protocol and IEEE 802.15.4

Using IPv6 as the network communication protocol for wireless, low-power sensor and small device networks allows for easy integration of each single device into existing information technology infrastructure. In order to enable efficient operation of IPv6 in power- and resource-limited applications, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has developed the open 6LoWPAN standard, minimizing the use of resources.  

The advantage of 6LoWPAN is the low power consumption and the meshing capability, enabling the wide dispersion of battery or battery-less sensor nodes into the field. As the technology evolves, so does the 6LoWPAN system along with it. 

6LoWPAN enables transmission of IPv6 over IEEE 802.15.4 radio links by adding an adaptation layer between the data link layer and network layer of the open systems interconnect (OSI) model. With IPv6, 3.4*1038 unique addresses are available to cover the tens of billions of connected devices to come.

About IPv6 Modules for the Internet of Things

IDT’s IPv6 modules include a powerful 32-bit ARM microcontroller, allowing the user to run their application directly on the module. The user application has full access to all peripheral resources and communication interfaces of the microcontroller, making the module the ideal platform for many types of applications in the Internet of Things (IoT). The operating system and network stack, required by the application, are provided as a set of firmware libraries. Alternatively, users may choose to use their existing microcontroller and use the module as modem device only, using either UART or SPI as the communication interface.

IDT’s firmware libraries for the 6LoWPAN modules include functionality for enabling modules for over-the-air updates after installation in the field. This allows integration of new features or fixing of bugs at any time. Secure communication is provided by standard-compliant implementations of the Internet Protocol Security (IPSec) protocol suite and the Internet Key Exchange Protocol version 2 (IKEv2), which enable highly secure end-to-end communication, including over unsecure network nodes.