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Nest teams up w/ ARM, Qualcomm, others to open-source Thread networking protocol


Thread, the low-power mesh network protocol that Alphabet-owned Nest built in tandem with Samsung, ARM, and other companies, is now going open-source. Since it opened membership in October of 2014, the not-completely-open “Thread Group” has grown to have over 30 products. But this OpenThread release takes things a step further in the name of openness…

“Nest is making the technology used in Nest products more broadly available to accelerate the development of products for the connected home,”  the company said in a press release. “As more silicon providers adopt Thread, manufacturers will have the option of using a proven networking technology rather than creating their own, and consumers will have a growing selection of secure and reliable connected products to choose from.”

Basically, Thread is a protocol standard used by many manufacturers that allows smarthome devices to talk to and work with each other. The release of OpenThread means that “millions” of devices, as long as they’re compatible with the 802.15.4 wireless protocol, could be updated to run Thread just like the devices that were approved under the previous Thread Group program.

The source code can be found over at Github.

Here’s a quick overview of features:

  • Highly portable: OS and platform agnostic, with a radio abstraction layer
  • Implements the End Device, Router, Leader & Border Router roles
  • Small memory footprint

OpenThread implements all Thread networking layers, including IPv6, 6LoWPAN, IEEE 802.15.4 with MAC security, Mesh Link Establishment, and Mesh Routing.


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Avatar for Stephen Hall Stephen Hall

Stephen is Growth Director at 9to5. If you want to get in touch, follow me on Twitter. Or, email at stephen (at) 9to5mac (dot) com, or an encrypted email at hallstephenj (at) protonmail (dot) com.