Matter is an open-source, interoperability standard, which is maintained by the Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA). Designed for smart homes and smart buildings, Matter ensures seamless interactions between connected devices across different IP technologies. End users no longer have to worry about device interoperability, as Matter ensures connected objects from multiple brands can work together seamlessly, while ensuring data privacy.
Matter is an application layer which addresses many applications in an open-source delivery and certification infrastructure, allowing wide adoption.
The roles of connected devices in a Matter network
In smart homes, connected devices run based on Wi-Fi or Thread technologies, and each device has a specific role within the Matter network.
All of these devices support a connectivity technology within Wi-Fi, Ethernet, or Thread as network communication protocol. They also need to support Bluetooth LE technology, to allow users to commission a new device onto the existing network:
• End devices: connected objects serving a final application, such as lights or door locks.
• Router/Bridges: objects such as gateways route the data from an end device, transferring it from one protocol to another (Wi-Fi to Thread for example).
• Controllers: devices, such as smartphones or tablets, used to commission an end device into a Matter network (controllers support Bluetooth LE).
Matter can be bridged to non-Matter technologies via a bridge/gateway shown in figure 1.
Many IoT products support Zigbee, and will now also enable support for Matter. The supporting infrastructure requires a solution that can bridge the communication between Matter-based and Zigbee-based devices. The bridge usually integrates high-performance MCUs with Ethernet capability to link connectivity products.
The dual-core STM32H7 MCU has the right features to address this role, as it can embed the Matter layer and translate it into the Zigbee protocol and vice versa.
STMicroelectronics’ STM32WB wireless MCU is also suitable for running in Matter networks and supporting Matter in connected objects. Features of this SoC include:
• Multi-protocol capabilities: STM32WB can run Bluetooth LE and Thread in concurrent modes, which is necessary for device commissioning.
• A large memory with 1 Mbyte of Flash and 256 Kbytes of RAM to support application layer and connectivity stacks.
• Quad-SPI peripheral to extend the memory size externally with execution in place.
• Over-The-Air firmware updates, whatever the application and the connectivity stack.
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