6LoWPAN Plugtests

ETSI organized the 1st 6LoWPAN Interop event (Plugtests) in Berlin, Germany on 27 and 28 July 2013 with the support of IPSO Alliance, FP7 PROBE-IT and IPV6 Forum. This event was co-located with the 87th IETF meeting (28 July - 02 August 2013).

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The 6LoWPAN (IPv6 over Low power Wireless Personal Area Networks) Plugtests event offered test sessions where vendors assessed the level of interoperability of their implementations and verified the correct interpretation of IETF base specifications.

This Plugtests event conducted testing campaign based on the test cases developed by the ETSI, IPSO Alliance, FP7 PROBE-IT and IPV6 Forum.

Scope & Achievements

The 6LoWPAN protocol is a key component building the future “Internet of Things” where smart objects become IP enabled and are form an integral part of the Internet. This Plugtests event assessed the interoperability of different 6LoWPAN implementations focusing on Header Compression (RFC 6282), Neighbor Discovery (RFC 6775) and Frame Format.

ETSI organised the 1st 6LoWPAN (IPv6 over Low power Wireless Personal Area Networks) Interop event (Plugtests) in Berlin, Germany on 27 and 28 July 2013 with the support of IPSO Alliance, FP7 PROBE-IT and IPV6 Forum. This event was co-located with the 87th IETF meeting (28 July - 02 August 2013).

The 6LoWPAN Plugtests event offered test sessions where vendors assessed the level of interoperability of their implementations and verified the correct interpretation of IETF base specifications.

This Plugtests event conducted testing campaign based on the test cases developed by the ETSI, IPSO Alliance, FP7 PROBE-IT and IPV6 Forum and focused on the conformance and interoperability of the IETF 6LoWPAN standards.

The testing was run on the IEEE 802.15.4-2006 2.4 GHz  PHY/MAC setup.

The event was supported by 15 companies/organizations including  partners, university and vendors providing Host, LR6 or LBR6  routers, sniffers.

The achieved results show that all implementations have been compatible on a basic level, i.e. sent data could be decoded and interpreted properly by receivers and a vast majority of equipment performed well.

Compliance with RFC 6775 (6LoWPAN-ND) is still very low in the research stacks that some participants were either using directly or as a source of component code.  It has been demonstrated that specific effort is required to update research stacks to the current standard. The Plugtests team provided this feedback to IETF. Consequently, some further discussions were held during the IETF meeting following the Plugtests in order to expedite progress on this.  This problem explains the small number of 6LoWPAN-ND tests that were actually completed.

It was also demonstrated that uncompressed mode would need some improvement. It is often not well tested and is a source of interoperability problems.  Since RFC 6282 is now widely implemented, it is probably desirable to deprecate RFC 4944’s uncompressed mode.  Discussion of such a deprecation process has started in the IETF following the Plugtests,  in particular, more data needs to be collected from other implementations that were not present in Berlin.

This event was supported by the European Commission.