The Virtual PAN software components comprise the Exegin ZigBee PRO stack along with its unique WPAN layer, the proxy 802.15.4 MAC layer and the SCoP (Secure Connection Protocol as defined by the ZigBee Gateway Specification) and a Virtual PAN Manager.
As separate Linux processes, many instances of the ZigBee Stack can be run as Virtual ZigBee Device instances. These instances, on start-up, form a connection over a UNIX socket to the Virtual PAN Manager. This connection constitutes the device’s virtual RF connection with the mesh, through the stacks proxy MAC layer and SCoP interface as shown below:
The arrangement of the device in a mesh topology is governed by each virtual device set label and the Virtual PAN manager. A typical mesh might follow in its structure the following
In the case shown above; a packet originating at v0, destine for v1, goes to the VPM, which transmits it to v0v1. The ZigBee routing algorithms then push the packet back to the VPM for rebroadcast on the v1 part of the mesh and, hence to its destination the v1 node.
This tool allows the behaviour of large networks to be tested at levels above the physical MAC layer. In house Exegin has tested to network sizes of 600 nodes over multiple hops.