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Big Boost for Matter as Silicon Labs and Arduino Partner Up

Big Boost for Matter as Silicon Labs and Arduino Partner Up


By Ken Briodagh

Senior Technology Editor

Embedded Computing Design

February 22, 2024

Story


Matter is fast becoming the only Smart Home standard that… matters. Now, Silicon Labs and Arduino have partnered up to help developers go from new board to commissioned device faster than ever, speeding time to market.

Moreover, this news signals an exciting move toward commitment to open source standards and development from Silicon Labs. The partners said in the announcement that they are working together to enable easier development of Matter over Thread applications for Arduino’s 33 million-strong developer community. Arduino has developed with Silicon Labs its first-ever Matter software libraries, and they are available on both the xG24 Explorer Kit from Silicon Labs and the xG24-based SparkFun Thing Plus Matter – MGM240P development board. Code samples, reference designs, documentation and more are now live on the Arduino Core for Silicon Labs Devices GitHub page.

Arduino and Silicon Labs
Arduino’s ecosystem is designed to make hardware and software development more accessible to anyone. It’s open source from the start and the Arduino programming language has been developed through the input of the community and user base. It’s famous for an intuitive interface and ease of use and everyone from enterprise developers to students have built prototypes on Arduino boards. With this new partnership, Arduino hopes to lower the barriers to building a Matter device, like it has with other projects.

“Empowering innovators has always been at the core of Arduino’s mission, and our collaboration with Silicon Labs takes that commitment to new heights. This partnership represents a significant stride in democratizing the development of Matter applications, for our community and beyond,” said Fabio Violante, CEO of Arduino. “At the end of the day, when you look at the embedded world, you’re always looking at complex protocols, and with Matter it’s a huge amount of work to get thing coded to connect to a network and what we want to do is lower the bar for users.”

Silicon Labs said in the release that its engineers were able to set up a new board flashed as a Matter device and ready to be commissioned into a new network in under two minutes in internal testing.

“Our interest and excitement over the Arduino partnership is related to making it easier to start a partnership with Silicon Labs,” said Rob Shane, VP Global Mass Markets, at Silicon Labs. “Our history tends to be in partnership with very large companies and a specific tool base. You almost had to become an expert in our tools to work with us. That’s a barrier to entry. Arduino, we feel, is the best in the world to go from concept to proof of concept in the real world. So the partnership represents our commitment to making it easier to get started.”

Watch this video from Silicon Labs for a dive into how it works. 

The Next Steps

This partnership isn’t a one-off or PR play, either. The companies are thinking long-term. In phase two of the joint initiative, Silicon Labs and Arduino are co-developing a new Arduino Nano board using the MGM240 Module from Silicon Labs. The new module is based on the MG24 SoC, and provides wireless connectivity using Matter, Thread, and Bluetooth protocols. It’s loaded up with an ARM Cortex-M33, ten dBm output power, low current consumption, and the highest PSA Certification Level 3 security so Arduino developers can create robust, fast, and energy-efficient applications while securing end-user privacy. And the 1536 kB of Flash, 256 kB of RAM, and 32 GPIO memory provides the capacity and expandability needed for Matter.

Of particular note is what this partnership means for Silicon Labs moving forward. Partnering with Arduino indicates a commitment to open source platforms and code. Shane confirmed, “We believe whole-heatedly in embracing open source and community-driven development. We want more people developing with our stuff. We want to proliferate the world with wireless solutions because it makes the world a better place.”

And that’s a Matter we can all agree with.

Ken Briodagh is a writer and editor with two decades of experience under his belt. He is in love with technology and if he had his druthers, he would beta test everything from shoe phones to flying cars. In previous lives, he’s been a short order cook, telemarketer, medical supply technician, mover of the bodies at a funeral home, pirate, poet, partial alliterist, parent, partner and pretender to various thrones. Most of his exploits are either exaggerated or blatantly false.

More from Ken



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