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Arduino Teams Up with Silicon Labs to Offer Official Matter Support, Teases a New Arduino Nano

The new core and its Matter-compliant library aims to open the Matter ecosystem to all — while the new Nano will include native support.

Arduino has announced a collaboration with Silicon Labs (SiLabs) which aims to bring the new Matter standard for Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity and interoperability to a wider audience — starting with the release of a Matter-compliant Arduino library, and a sneak preview of an upcoming Arduino Matter board.

“Our partnership with Arduino brings simplicity and ease of use to wireless development for Silicon Labs developers as well as Arduino's 40 million users to take their project from concept to production," claims SiLabs' Rob Shane of the collaboration between the two companies. "By integrating Matter with Arduino's ecosystem, we’re opening a universe of possibilities for developers."

Originally known as Project Connected Home over IP, Matter — created by Amazon, Apple, Google, Samsung, and what was known at the time as the ZigBee Alliance — seeks to solve the fragmentation of the Internet of Things ecosystem. Any Matter device, the standard requires, can be controlled from any Matter hub and software pairing, meaning it's now possible to pick and choose devices from a range of vendors without the need to juggle multiple applications and gateways.

Numerous companies have already begun rolling Matter out in their off-the-shelf devices, but SiLabs' deal with Arduino means that it'll now be easier for developers and hobbyists to get involved. To start: the addition of a Matter library alongside an official SiLabs microcontroller core definition for the Arduino IDE, compatible with the existing SparkFun Thing Plus Matter development board.

"We are thrilled with the continued adoption of Matter to support IoT applications. The Matter implementation in Arduino has been a massive undertaking and it will make Matter even more accessible for engineers, creators, and innovators across the globe," says SparkFun chief executive officer Glenn Samala of the launch. "This is another major step forward in interoperability and improving our daily interactions with the devices we have come to reply upon."

The SparkFun board won't be alone for long, though: Arduino has teased an upcoming new Arduino Nano board based around SiLabs' MGM240SD22VNA microcontroller — described by the company as offering "unparalleled ease of use and capabilities." The launch has been scheduled for March this year — though at an as-yet unconfirmed price point.

"For educators, students, hobbyists, and professionals," the Arduino team claims, "this means an unprecedented opportunity to dive into IoT projects with greater ease and more powerful tools. The implications for smart home applications, industrial IoT, and educational projects are immense."

The SiLabs Arduino core is now available on GitHub, and is compatible with the SparkFun Things Plus Matter board plus SiLAbs' own xG27 Dev Kit, xG24 Explorer Kit, and BGM220 Explorer Kit development boards; the Matter library is included in the core, but at the time of writing only supported the SparkFun ThingPlus Matter and SiLabs xG24 Explorer Kit boards.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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