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Zigbee 3.0 incorporates many years of experience from over 400 member companies and it is an exciting step toward streamlining IoT standards! MMB has been actively involved in the development of the zigbee 3.0 specification and we created this page to share some helpful information with our partners and customers.

If you would like to gain access to the zigbee specifications, you can download them by registering at this link: 

You can also join the zigbee alliance via this link:

Key Terms

Node vs Device

"A node defines a single instance of the zigbee PRO stack with a single IEEE address on a single network."

A node is made up of one or more devices, each residing on an endpoint.

Simple Device vs Dynamic Device

"A simple device is an application implementation of an application specific endpoint that has mandatory application clusters."

"A dynamic device is an application implementation of an endpoint that has no specific set of application clusters."

Finding & binding (EZ-Mode) is mandatory for simple devices and optional for dynamic devices.

Application Cluster vs Utility Cluster

"A utility cluster is a cluster whose function is not part of the persistent functional operation of the product. Function examples: commissioning, configuration, discovery, etc."

"An application cluster is a cluster that generates persistent functional transactions." Examples: temperature measurement, On/Off..

An application (or functional) transaction "is a cluster command, and possible response, that is generated to perform the device's persistent function, such as attribute reporting or actuation commands. An application transaction is not a ZDO transaction, one-time transaction, or commissioning transaction."

Initiator vs Target Cluster

"An initiator cluster is an application cluster that initiates cluster transactions."

"A target cluster is an application cluster that receives the initiated messages from an initiator cluster and could potentially respond to the initiator."

Network Steering

Defined by EZ-Mode:
"For a node that is not already joined to a network, EZ-Mode network steering is the action of searching for and joining an open network. For a node that has joined a network, EZ-Mode network steering is the action of opening the network to allow new nodes to join."


All nodes shall support network steering (EZ-Mode). 

Commissioning Director: a node in a network that is able to directly edit bindings and reporting configurations on any node in the network. 


Centralized vs Distributed Security

A coordinator shall form a centralized security network. Non-coordinators cannot form a centralized security network.

A router may form a distributed security network if it cannot find an existing centralized or distributed security network to join.

All non-coordinator nodes shall be able to join a network that uses either centralized or distributed security.

A joining node can determine whether it just joined a centralized or distributed security network by examining which link key is used to encrypt the Transport Key message.

Joining a Distributed Security Network

All nodes that want join to a network where distributed trust center mode is in use will have to have support for that mode.

Normally when a joining device completes MAC association successfully it will wait to receive an APS transport key message containing the network key and EUI64 of the trust center.  In the case of distributed trust center mode the joining device will receive an APS transport key directly from its router parent with source address (EUI64) of all F’s.  When that occurs the joining device will record the wildcard value in the apsTrustCenterAddress of its AIB noting that it too is operating in distributed trust center mode, and then start operating on the network. 

It is important to note that a device need only have support for distributed trust center mode.  It does not need prior knowledge that the network it is attempting to join is operating in this mode.  If the APS transport key message contained a valid EUI64 (not all F’s and not all 0’s) then it would record this and begin operating in the normal, centralized trust center mode.  

Link Keys

Each node SHALL contain the following link keys:

  • Default global TC link key (widely known by zigbee alliance members)
  • Distributed security global link key
    • Test value (0xd0, 0xd1, 0xd2, ...., 0xdf)
    • Production value is given after a company certifies successfully
  • Install code derived preconfigured link key
    • All nodes in ZB3 shall support install code
    • After joining, must exchange the preconfigured link key with an updated TC link key
      • If SE security, use CBKE
      • If not, use APS Request Key to request a new key from TC
  • If the node supports touchlink commissioning then it will also contain the touchlink preconfigured link key

Binding, Reporting, Groups

"A node shall implement a binding table whose number of available entries is greater than or equal to the sum of the cluster instances, ,supported on each device of the node, that are initiators of application transactions."

"A node shall have a default report configuration for every implemented attribute that is specified as mandatory and reportable."

"A node that can be a target of an application transaction shall support group addressing and at least 8 memberships in the group table."

Sleepy Poll Recommendation

There are two polling rates: fast rate and slow rate

Fast rate: once every 3 seconds if actively waiting for a response like APS Ack, or a ZCL response. Otherwise, to retrieve an expected message, it should poll at least once per 7.5 seconds.

Slow rate: up to the application (e.g. once every hour), to ensure it is still connected to the parent while not actively waiting for a message.

During commissioning, devices should poll at fast rate

Trust Center Policies

A set of policies that a Trust Center can configure for the network

  • Whether to Use Install Code. All non-coordinator nodes in zigbee 3.0 have install codes. In a centralized security network, it's up to the Trust Center to decide whether to use the install code.
  • Whether to Require Key Exchange. If required, a joining node must exchange its link key after joining, otherwise, coordinator will remove the joining node from the network. All zigbee 3.0 joining nodes are required to go through the link key exchange procedure. So it seems like the purpose of this policy is to allow a Trust Center to support legacy nodes that don't support key exchange.


What are the key features being added in zigbee 3.0?

  • Unified all Application Profiles into one standard
  • Improved security

When can device vendors start certifying zigbee 3.0 products?

The certification process opened on May 15, 2016. However, most silicon vendors are still finalizing their support of the Green Power features, so very few devices have been certified to date.

When will MMB release RapidConnect firmware that will be compliant with zigbee 3.0?

MMB's first public release of zigbee 3.0 compliant RapidConnect firmware will likely be in June, 2017. If you are interested in testing an alpha or beta release, please contact your Account Manager for more information. 

What are Devices and Clusters available for certification today?

As of March 20, 2017, the following devices can be certified:

  • On/Off Switch
  • On/Off Light Switch
  • Level Control Switch
  • Dimmable Plug-in Unit
  • On/Off Output
  • Color Temperature Light
  • Extended Color Light
  • Level Control Output
  • Scene Selector
  • Shade Controller
  • Configuration Tool
  • Window Covering Device
  • Window Covering Controller
  • Remote Control
  • Combined Interface
  • Temperature Sensor
  • Range Extender
  • Color Controller
  • Color Scene Controller
  • Mains Power Outlet
  • On/Off Light
  • Non-Color Controller
  • Non-Color Scene Controller
  • Dimmable Light
  • Color Dimmable Light
  • On/Off Light Switch
  • Dimmer Switch
  • Color Dimmer Switch
  • Light Sensor
  • Occupancy Sensor
  • Control Bridge
  • On/Off Sensor
  • Green Power Proxy Basic
  • Green Power Combo Basic
  • Green Power Device

What will happen to the existing application profiles like Home Automation and zigbee Light Link?

The previous Application Profiles will have a sunset period, after which they will no longer be available for certification.
For the Home Automation, Lighting, Retail, and Building profiles, new products can be certified until May 15, 2017. Re-certification of existing products will no longer be available after November 15, 2017.
For Telecom and Healthcare, certification stopped on November 15, 2016.

What will happen to zigbee Smart Energy?

This is still being discussed by the members of the zigbee alliance. At present, there are no firm plans to merge the zigbee Smart Energy Application Profile into zigbee 3.0.

How will zigbee GreenPower work with zigbee 3.0?

All ZigBee 3.0 routers must be able to act as a proxy for Green Power (the zigbee networking and application-level specification for energy-harvesting end devices). 

Will zigbee 3.0 devices be backward compatible with older devices?

Yes, in some scenarios.
A zigbee Home Automation device can join a zigbee 3.0 Centralized Network that does not require a key exchange.
A zigbee Home Automation device can NOT join a zigbee 3.0 distributed network.
A zigbee 3.0 device can join either a zigbee Light Link or a zigbee Home Automation network using classical commissioning

How can device vendors test their device for zigbee 3.0 compliance?

The zigbee alliance will be providing a ZigBee 3.0 Test Tool and a Green Power Test Harness. Each company will receive a complimentary license for the zigbee 3.0 Test Tool. Additional licenses are 1000 USD per year. Green Power Test Harness licenses are 1000 USD per year.

zigbee 3.0 Test Tool (ZTT) licenses can be purchased from 

Will Unsecured Rejoin (TC Rejoin) still be allowed in zigbee 3.0?

No. In zigbee PRO stack r21 and zigbee 3.0, TC Rejoin (or Unsecured Rejoin) using the default or well-known link key will no longer be allowed. It will only be allowed for devices that have completed successful link key exchange, where they receive unique link keys.

See zigbee PRO Stack r21 specification (05-3474-21), Table 4.33 Trust Center Policy Values, attribute allowRejoins.

What might block you from certifying a zigbee 3.0 product right now?

While zigbee 3.0 is gathering momentum, only a couple of vendors have certified their product so far.

There are a few factors right now that may limit or block product certification:

  • Not every device type is available for certification yet. 
  • Not every cluster is available for certification yet. 
  • The Green Power test harness is not yet available for vendors to test their implementation before submitting their product to an authorized test house.
  • The zigbee 3.0 Test Tool is still working out bugs and issues. 

If you are planning a new zigbee product, please check with us on whether your product would be gated by any of these factors, and what we can do to accelerate your path to certification.

What is the upgrade path from legacy HA devices to zigbee 3.0 for MMB customers?

MMB customers will be able to upgrade their existing zigbee HA devices to zigbee 3.0 through the built-in Serial Upgrade or OTA (over-the-air) Upgrade features. MMB's new zigbee 3.0 compliant firmware will include all of the serial commands from our existing RapidHA Serial Protocol (i.e. it will still be compatible with your existing Host application), but it will also include some new frames for Network Commissioning. Contact MMB's Support team if you have questions about how to transition to these new frames. 

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