STM32 MCU solution for Matter: the promise of seamless device interoperability in smart homes
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.
"Smart home devices should be secure, reliable, and seamless to use. And with Matter, they are."
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.
These devices support a connectivity technology within Wi-Fi, Ethernet, or Thread as network communication protocol. Such devices also need to support Bluetooth® LE technology, to allow users to add a new device to their existing network, also called “commissioning”.
- 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.
STM32WB wireless MCU runs in Matter networks
- The STM32WB supports Matter in connected objects, enabling Matter networks thanks to:
- 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
The STM32WB MCU comes with the NUCLEO-WB55RG and the discovery board STM32WB5MM-DK which brings a wide feature set, including sensors, external Flash, screen, touch sensors for applications running on Matter.
Several STM32 MCUs support Matter standard, and are suitable for different device types:
|Matter Device type||Connectivity||Wireless MCUs in standalone||Hosted architecture (MCU/MPU + radio co-processor)|
|Matter to Thread Bridge||Thread RCP Ethernet||-||STM32H7 + STM32WB |
STM32MP1 + STM32WB
|Matter to Thread End Device||Concurrent Dynamic Thread |
– Bluetooth LE
|STM32WB*||STM32H7 + STM32WB |
STM32U5 + STM32WB
STM32MP1 + STM32WB
|Matter non-Matter Bridge||Any**||-||STM32H7 + STM32WB |
STM32MP1 + STM32WB
STM32H7 + STM32WL
STM32MP1 + STM32WL
** data model bridging Matter to any other technology
The STM32WB is coming with various development boards like the Nucleo-WB55RG and the Discovery board STM32WB5MM-DK which exposes wide feature set, sensors, flash, screen, touch sensors to prototype rapidly many kinds of application that Matter targets.
How to bridge smart home devices to a Matter network
Many IoT devices support Zigbee and will now also enable Matter. The supporting infrastructure requires a solution that can bridge the communication between Matter-based and Zigbee-based devices.
The bridge device usually integrates high-performance MCUs with Ethernet capability to link connectivity products.
The dual-core STM32H7 MCU offers the right features to address this role, as it can embed the Matter layer and translate it into the Zigbee protocol and vice versa.