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CSA Launches Matter IoT Protocol for Simple, Secure Device Interoperability

Nov. 9, 2022
The Connectivity Standards Alliance released the Matter 1.0 IoT interoperability protocol, presented as a secure and trusted infrastructure for connected things.

This article appeared in Microwaves & RF and has been published here with permission.

What you’ll learn:

  • What is the Matter protocol?
  • How Matter eases IoT integration.
  • How Matter is being deployed.

At a recent launch event in Amsterdam, the Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA) released the Matter 1.0 IoT interoperability protocol, with many members presenting examples of their Matter-based products and solutions. Presentations addressed a wide array of smart-home applications, including occupancy sensors, smart plugs, door locks, lighting, gateways, platform components, and Matter-based software solutions. At this point, 190 products have received certification, or are in queue for testing and certification.

Matter is intended to address the last aspect of IoT device integration, trust, and security. Since the protocol’s release, there have been thousands of downloads of the Matter specification and the Matter software development kit (SDK). In addition, eight authorized test labs are active in 16 locations across nine countries, to help developers bring Matter products to the market.

IoT Inflection Point

"This is a major inflection point for the IoT. As we become more connected and break down the walls between the digital and physical world, we need to work together to make those connections meaningful. Matter and our membership are tackling this challenge head-on," said Tobin Richardson, President and CEO of the CSA (see figure). "With collaboration, inclusiveness, and a deep sense of responsibility to the market and consumers, Matter has the power to create a more connected, safe, and useful smart home."

At the Matter launch event, member companies including Amazon, Schneider Electric, Silicon Labs, and Tuya Smart spoke about their perspectives and offerings on Matter and how they see their position in the IoT ecosystem. In addition, multiple smart-home product demonstrators were on hand for a variety of spaces, from lighting and electrical to safety and security sensors.

Beyond the current offerings, the Alliance intends to create teams to address applications like doors and gates, environmental quality, smoke and carbon-monoxide detection, and ambient motion and presence sensing.

Matter Ecosystem

The Matter 1.0 release is presented as a solid ecosystem at its release, with authorized test labs for product certification, test harnesses and tools available to the developer community, and the open-source reference design SDK is complete and downloadable. Furthermore, CSA members that already have devices deployed with plans to update them to support Matter can do so once their products are certified.

“What started as a mission to unravel the complexities of connectivity has resulted in Matter, a single, global IP-based protocol that will fundamentally change the IoT,” said Richardson. “This release is the first step on a journey our community and the industry are taking to make the IoT more simple, secure, and valuable no matter who you are or where you live. With global support from companies large and small, today’s Matter 1.0 release is more than a milestone for our organization and our members; it is a celebration of what is possible.”

Matter’s underlying network technologies come from Zigbee, Wi-Fi, and Thread, using Bluetooth Low Energy for device commissioning and Wi-Fi for the high-bandwidth local network and cloud communications. Thread provides an energy-efficient and highly reliable mesh network within the home.

Matter also uses security policies and processes based on distributed-ledger technology and public key infrastructure to validate device certification and provenance. This will help to ensure users are connecting authentic, certified, and up-to-date devices to their homes and networks.

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