STM32 MCU solution for Matter: the promise of seamless device interoperability in smart homes

Matter logo

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.

Matter technology
"Smart home devices should be secure, reliable, and seamless to use. And with Matter, they are."
The Connectivity Standards Alliance

ST on stage at embedded world

Matter, Bluetooth LE, Zigbee and Thread: how can ST’s connectivity solutions support these evolving standards?

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.

Technologies engaged in MATTER

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.
Matter on STM32WBx

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.

NUCLEO-WB55RG
STM32WB5MM-DK

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
* OTA on external Flash
** 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.

STM32 Matter Bridge Proof of Concept

Matter bridge