The Zigbee Alliance has announced a number of name changes as it adds a new IP protocol called Matter to its organisation to take on the Internet of Things (IoT) in smart homes.
The Alliance started 20 years ago with Zigbee and is adding its Project Connected Home over IP (CHIP) project as a protocol called Matter that it says will provide interoperability across the IoT, smart homes and smart buildings. As a result the alliance is changing it name to the Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA).
The Alliance will continue to develop Zigbee technology and will retain the Zigbee technology brand.
The royalty-free IP protocol Matter joins the Alliance’s portfolio of connectivity standards with specialized protocols like Smart Energy, Green Power and rf4ce.
“This year is historic for the Alliance as our growth and efforts flourish with the demand for smart home and building connectivity,” said Tobin Richardson, President and CEO of the Connectivity Standards Alliance. “It’s the perfect time to both unveil our new brand, positioning the Alliance as the home for collaboration and development of IoT standards with our Members, and launch these trusted marks recognizable by the market we collectively serve.”
2020 saw more than 560 Zigbee technology devices certified, an increase of over 30 percent from the previous year. Over half a billion Zigbee chipsets have been sold and nearly four billion are expected to ship by 2023. The CSA expects device certifications to further increase as Matter devices ship later this year.
There are now more than 350 organizations in the alliance including Assa Abloy, Ikea, Schneider Electric, NXP Semiconductors, Legrand, Signify and STMicroelectronics from Europe alongside 3,000 individuals. The alliance also includes Apple, Amazon, Google, Texas Instruments, Honeywell spin-off Resideo and Silicon Labs.
Matter is supported by 180 of the corporate members and 1700 individuals as a royalty-free IP-based connectivity protocol for the Internet of Things.
The first release of the Matter protocol will run on existing networking technologies such as Ethernet (802.3), Wi-Fi (802.11), and Thread (802.15.4) and for ease of commissioning, Bluetooth Low Energy
“Matter will be a leap forward in interoperability. It also demonstrates the power of the collaborative and open-source process within the Alliance that embraces the full IoT value chain and yields results. We are convinced that Matter is a great opportunity, therefore Legrand supports the project since the beginning notably by involving engineers and by participating in test events,” said Bruno Vulcano, R&D Manager at French smart home industrial group Legrand and Chair of the Board at the Connectivity Standards Alliance.
With Matter, consumers and businesses can choose different brands for the smart home or commercial building and be confident devices will work seamlessly. Users will be able to add smart locks, thermostats or smart speakers with the Matter mark using a simple setup code.
Matter also offers an open-source reference implementation to reduce the reliance on single-vendor stacks, improve quality by using multiple use cases to test against, and increased security with full transparency into the community’s ability to identify and commit patches.
“Signify, the world leader in lighting and a long-term leader in the Alliance, is excited to be a driving force in the creation and adoption of Matter. We believe this multi-brand interoperability in the smart home will catalyse the benefit and value of smart lighting worldwide via both Philips Hue and WiZ smart lighting,” said George Yianni, Head of Technology Philips Hue, on behalf of Signify.
Early adopters of Matter in Europe include Assa Abloy, Eve Systems, Google, Grundfos Holding A/S, Infineon Technologies, Legrand, Nordic Semiconductor, NXP Semiconductors, Schneider Electric, STMicroelectronics and Signify as well as Silicon Labs, SmartThings and TI.
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