You’re right, it is a development board which can be flashed with Zigbee 3.0 coordinator firmware and then works as such. It resolves many of the limitations of the CC2531 coordinator like number of devices, weak signal, etc, and it’s not really expensive, either.
Here’s someone who makes them as USB-sticks that can be directly used (and flashed) without additional hardware, but there are others, too: https://slae.sh/projects/cc2652/
What is ZigBee IP? I don’t think that exists does it? There was something in the past (like 10 years ago) where ZigBee was looking at running IP, and there is Connected Home (which is something different - ZigBee is still the same), but I don’t think there’s a ZigBee IP - just ZigBee 3 these days?
Yes - generally there’s no major difference with ZHA1.2 and most devices I’ve come across don’t enforce things like link keys/install codes. These are supported for the Ember dongle - the TI software I don’t think supports ZB3 and the Telegesis certainly doesn’t support ZB3.0
Zigbee 3.0 would not really matter for the binding, I think. All 3.0 firmwares are downward compatible to 1.2, and probably very few people would even have a use for 3.0 features like encryption and security. As with zwave, it would probably only matter for devices like locks, and I do not know of any for Zigbee.
Zigbee is usually employed for rather security un-critical applications like bulbs, sensors, switches and the like, and most are a lot cheaper than zwave devices. I have no experience with the Ember dongles, but the newer Texas Instruments boards like the CC2652RB (or CC26X2R1/CC1352P-2) are lightyears better than the dusty old CC2531, especially in conjunction with dedicated CC2530-routers, so supporting them within the binding would be a very good idea.
As they are already supported in zigbee2mqtt, I would assume that the information necessary to address those sticks would be freely available.
Well, that’s not really completely correct. If devices require the use of install codes (required for ZB3.0), then the binding needs to support this.
There are many locks available for ZigBee - however these days, as mentioned, it is becoming unacceptable not to promote security and it is becoming a legal requirement (at least in Europe, but from a recent conference I saw also in the US).
Again, I doubt that - these days, security should be at the forefront of anything that’s done. There are legal requirements coming in for all IoT devices to support this. However, ZB3.0 security is not a lot different that 1.2 - while there are some important enhancements to make it a bit more secure, these are generally around the joining and key exchange process, and not the underlying security.
I would be very happy if someone provides support for these. Unfortunately all of the commercial systems I support use Silabs chipsets, so it’s hard for me to find the time to add support for other dongles at the moment.
While currently quite a few people still use the CC2531 (because cheap and widely available), I know of a lot of people in the zigbee2mqtt community switching to better chips. So I don’t think those new TI chipsets are just a niche (they may be atm) but will become mainstream sometime soon. So OH3 support for those would be awesome.
My development skills are nonexistant, but I gladly volunteer for beta-testing if someone picks up on this.