Thread

Low power mesh

IP-based wireless networking protocol

Thread was developed to have a reliable, secure, and scalable way to connect low-power devices. Thread is an IPv6 standards-based mesh networking protocol with no single point of failure. Like the Internet, Thread runs on the Internet Protocol (IP). As a result, Thread devices seamlessly integrate with larger IP networks. They don’t need proprietary gateways or translators. This streamlines connectivity to the cloud or to consumers mobile end devices. 

Low power wireless connectivity is a core competence of Nordic. We support OpenThread and are one of its main contributors.  Our hardware products in combination with our software are Thread Certified Components.  With Nordic's portfolio, you can build a single chip device or use one of our smaller devices as a network coprocessor to build a Thread Border Router.  The SoCs have different memory sizes and capabilities, for you to select the perfect match for your product. Thread protocol is application layer agnostic and does not define an application layer. As a result, it can support many IP-enabled application protocols. Nordic’s Thread solution is a perfect baseline for Thread-based application layers: Matter, HomeKit, DALI+, KNX IoT, OCF, and others.

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Nordic is one of the leading companies in Thread/Bluetooth Low Energy multiprotocol. This is a requirement for Matter and for Thread HomeKit accessories, where Bluetooth LE is used for commissioning and Thread for data. It is also possible to build a Thread-capable device now and include Matter support later with an update. An Apple HomeKit  accessory can for example be converted into a Matter device with a small development effort.

 

We offer excellent documentation and technical support to anyone developing a Thread product with our SoCs. We guide you through the product development process. 

 

Great hardware deserves great software

Great hardware deserves great software.  We offer the nRF Connect SDK for the nRF53 and nRF52 Series.  The nRF Connect SDK is a complete software development kit for Thread, Bluetooth LE, and Zigbee. It integrates the scalable Zephyr RTOS, OpenThread, and Bluetooth LE stacks. We also included a variety of samples, hardware drivers, and more.

OpenThread is an open-source implementation of the Thread networking protocol. We provide it as a pre-compiled, pre-certified library. This allows for Thread certification by inheritance, and in full source code to ease product development.  For the nRF Connect SDK we have ported the lower layers of our SoftDevices. This enables the best-in-class interoperability you know our SoftDevices for. The result is the SoftDevice Controller. A SoftDevice is a wireless protocol stack that complements our SoCs. We provide them as qualified, precompiled binary files. 

You can still use the nRF5 SDK for Thread and ZigBee for our nRF52 Series SoCs. Be aware that only the nRF Connect SDK is in active development. For all new products we recommend the nRF Connect SDK.

 

nRF Connect SDK highlights

For Thread

  • Base solution for Thread-based application layers: Matter, Apple HomeKit, DALI+, KNX IoT, OCF, and others
  • Support for Thread 1.1 and Thread 1.2 features
  • Thread certification by inheritance
  • All roles supported: Thread Router, Thread Border router, End Device, Sleepy End Device, Synchronized Sleepy End Device
  • Dynamic multiprotocol with Bluetooth LE
  • Single SoC, Network Co-Processor (NCP), and Radio Co-Processor (RCP) architectures
  • Support for over-the-air device firmware update (OTA DFU) with Bluetooth LE
  • CoAP server and client samples + BLE Nordic UART Service for multiprotocol
  • Command Line Interface (CLI)
  • Matter (Project CHIP) integration and several associated sample applications
  • Apple HomeKit integration and several associated sample applications

Software development kit

for Thread

nRF Connect SDK

nRF Connect SDK is a common software development kit for cellular IoT and short-range wireless, on the nRF9160 SiP, the nRF5340 SoC and all nRF52 Series SoCs.

 

Microcontroller development kit

nRF MDK

Register header files and startup code to get you started developing with nRF51, nRF52, nRF53 and nRF91 Series devices in 3rd-party IDEs.