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Thread Group welcomes Qualcomm, outs Ver1.0 for IoT

Posted: 16 Jul 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Thread Group? IoT? Qualcomm? AllSeen Alliance? protocol stack?

Silicon Labs offers first commercial protocol stack

The Thread Group, an industry group originally led by Google's Nest and founded with backing from vendors including ARM, Silicon Labs, Freescale and Samsung exactly a year ago, released Tuesday (July 14) its debut technical spec: Thread Version 1.0.

Established to develop reliable, secure and low-power mesh networking protocols for the Internet of Things in the home, the group said that its new specs, which passed rigorous interoperability testing, are available to group members.

The Thread Group also announced that Qualcomm Technologies, a leader of AllSeen Alliance, is joining the Thread Group board of directors. AllSeen is an open-source IoT alliance developing IoT application layers.

In addition, Silicon Labs, a founding member of the Thread Group, announced the roll-out of Thread's commercial protocol stack and development tools, both ready for use by customers building Thread-based IoT devices.

Altogether, the Thread Group is gathering momentum, laying a foundation for much needed unity in IoT, and rolling out the networking layer designed to interoperate with a range of IoT solutions.

Thread Group

Among various industry alliances jockeying for position in the fragmented IoT market, the Thread Group, with its specs in place, will shift gears to the certification of commercial Thread IoT products and market education.

AllSeen-Thread Partnership?

The addition to the Thread Group Board of Qualcomm, a leading IoT advocate and the world's largest smartphone chip vendor, is big news.

Asked if Qualcomm's recruitment implies a future "AllSeen-Thread" partnership, Chris Boross, Thread Group president, said, "It isn't specifically tied to that." However, he added, "the Thread Group will continue to pursue partnerships with other industry groups" developing their own application layers for IoT.

A case in point is an announcement earlier this year. The Group is collaborating with the ZigBee Alliance to develop connected home products. The partnership has opened doors for the ZigBee cluster library application protocol to run on Thread. "Thread is designed to work with and support many different application layer protocols," said Boross.

Thread is application layer-agnostic

Thread is networking stack, application layer-agnostic (Source: Silicon Labs)

In the past year, the Thread Group has diligently worked with members, "whose number has grown from the original seven to more than 160 companies today," said Boross. They have collaborated in "testing interoperability" and "fine-tuning" Thread's specifications for wireless mesh networking protocols, he explained. "The specification is finally ready and available for use by those building real Thread products."

A bevy of Thread products are expected to reach the market late this year. In September, the Thread Group is launching a product certification programme. The Group announced that it has retained Thomas Sciorilli to lead the programme. Sciorilli comes with broad experience and credibility in running industry groups. He served as technical operations director for the WiFi Alliance between 2008 and 2012.

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