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With the development of micro-electronics technology, computing technology and the wireless communications technology, wireless sensor networks (WSNs) has been great concerned in recent years. The architecture of WSN directly affect entire network performance, and the network performance affects the availability of WSN. The design of WSN architecture need consider many aspects, such as deploy, energy consumption, expansibility, flexibility and error tolerance. The cross-layer MAC protocol can be designed to reduce energy consumption and prolong the network lifetime. In this paper, the architecture, cross-layer MAC protocol for WSNs are introduced. At last, the conclusion and future work of WSNs is discussed.