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Power Consumption Analysis of Bluetooth Low Energy, ZigBee and ANT Sensor Nodes in a Cyclic Sleep Scenario

By Artem Dementyev, Steve Hodges, Stuart Taylor and Joshua Smith


Abstract — This paper is intended to guide developers of wireless systems who are puzzled by the vast number of radio configuration parameters and options. We provide experimental data comparing power consumption of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), ZigBee and ANT protocols for a cyclic sleep scenario, in which a short-range and low-power wireless sensor node periodically sends a data packet to a remote ‘hub ’ with intervening sleep intervals. Devices such as wearable health monitors often use this scenario when interfacing with a mobile phone-based hub. For all measured sleep intervals BLE achieved lower power consumption (10.1 uA, 3.3 V supply at 120 s interval), compared with ZigBee (15.7 uA), and ANT (28.2 uA). Most of the power consumption differences can be attributed to the time taken for a node to connect to the hub after waking up and the use of sleep between individual RF packets. For the three protocols we determined a sleep interval at which the tradeoff between power consumption and data rate is optimized. Index Terms — Personal area network, Bluetooth Low Energy, BLE, ZigBee, body sensor network, ubiquitous computing. Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), ZigBee and Ant also have the very real advantage that consumer devices such as cell phones increasingly support them, providing a ready supply of suitable ‘hub ’ devices. The nature of communications between a sensor node and a hub has a great impact on the power consumed. Unfortunately, much of the literature which compares the power consumption of different radios is theoretical and qualitative [6] or provides generalized experimental data [7] from which it is not possible to draw practical conclusions on power consumption in a given scenario. Furthermore, datasheets do not provide specific parameter or “rule of thumb ” that will help a developer balance Hub I

Year: 2013
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