Designing and Implementing a Lightweight WSN MAC Protocol for Smart Home Networking Applications

Ching Han Chen, Ming Yi Lin, Wen Hung Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) represent a promising solution in the fields of the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine-to-machine networks for smart home applications. However, to feasibly deploy wireless sensor devices in a smart home environment, four key requirements must be satisfied: stability, compatibility, reliability routing, and performance and power balance. In this study, we focus on the unreliability problem of the IEEE 802.15.4 WSN medium access control (MAC), which is caused by the contention-based MAC protocol used for channel access. This problem results in a low packet delivery ratio, particularly in a smart home network with only a few sensor nodes. In this paper, we first propose a lightweight WSN protocol for a smart home or an intelligent building, thus replacing the IEEE 802.15.4 protocol, which is highly complex and has a low packet delivery ratio. Subsequently, we describe the development of a discrete event system model for the WSN by using a GRAFCET and propose a development platform based on a reconfigurable FPGA for reducing fabrication cost and time. Finally, a prototype WSN controller ASIC chip without an extra CPU and with our proposed lightweight MAC was developed and tested. It enhanced the packet delivery ratio by up to 100%.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1750043
JournalJournal of Circuits, Systems and Computers
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2017


  • Field programmable gate array
  • lightweight MAC
  • wireless sensor network
  • ZigBee


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