The SparkFun Thing Plus Matter is the first easily accessible board of its kind that combines Matter and SparkFun’s Qwiic ecosystem for agile development and prototyping of Matter-based IoT devices. The MGM240P wireless module from Silicon Labs® provides secure connectivity for both 802.15.4 with Mesh communication (Thread) and Bluetooth® Low Energy 5.3 protocols. The module comes ready for integration into Silicon Labs' Matter IoT protocol for home automation. SparkFun's Thing Plus development boards are Feather-compatible and include a Qwiic connector for easy integration into our Qwiic Connect System for solderless I2C circuits.
What is Matter? Simply put, Matter allows for consistent operation between smart home devices and IoT platforms without an Internet connection, even from different providers. In doing so, Matter is able to communicate between major IoT ecosystems in order to create a single wireless protocol that is easy, reliable, and secure to use.
The Thing Plus Matter - MGM240P includes Qwiic and LiPo battery connectors, and multiple GPIO pins capable of complete multiplexing through software. The board also features the MCP73831 single-cell LiPo charger as well as the MAX17048 fuel gauge to charge and monitor a connected battery. Lastly, we've included a µSD card slot for any external memory needs.
The MGM240P wireless module is built around the EFR32MG24 Wireless SoC with a 32-bit ARM Cortext-M33 core processor running at 39 MHz with 1536 kb Flash memory and 256 kb RAM. The MGM240P works with common 802.15.4 wireless protocols (Matter®, Zigbee®, and OpenThread®) as well as Bluetooth® Low Energy 5.3. The MGM240P supports Silicon Labs' Secure Vault™ for Thread applications.
The SparkFun Qwiic Connect System is an ecosystem of I2C sensors, actuators, shields and cables that make prototyping faster and less prone to error. All Qwiic-enabled boards use a common 1mm pitch, 4-pin JST connector. This reduces the amount of required PCB space, and polarized connections mean you can’t hook it up wrong.
PWR- Red Power LED
CHG- Yellow battery charging status LED
STAT- Blue status LED
A0to enable use as a peripheral device
If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.
Skill Level: Experienced - You will require a firm understanding of programming, the programming toolchain, and may have to make decisions on programming software or language. You may need to decipher a proprietary or specialized communication protocol. A logic analyzer might be necessary.
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If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Competent - You will be required to reference a datasheet or schematic to know how to use a component. Your knowledge of a datasheet will only require basic features like power requirements, pinouts, or communications type. Also, you may need a power supply that?s greater than 12V or more than 1A worth of current.
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Based on 1 ratings:
Hardware design is spot on, but the SILabs software is a mess with very poor support for a newcomer. Although they talk about ease of use, the hardware debugging tools are difficult to locate or setup for the required setup codes. The sparkfun tutorial so far is a basic blink the LED kind which does nothing for setting up the encryption or radio pairing required as part of matter. For the average hardware guy, I’d avoid this without an expert on eclipse handy to answer questions and run you through the basics of using the software and setting up everything.
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This looks really neat, but I'm disappointed that you decided to call it the "SparkFun Thing Plus Matter" - "SparkFun Thing Plus Thread" would be a much more accurate name. Or "SparkFun Thing Plus Thread/Zigbee", albeit somewhat cumbersome.
A lot of people are confused about the difference between Matter and Thread. Matter is a software protocol suite that runs over Thread, WiFi and Ethernet, very similarly to the way Apple's HomeKit does (in fact, Matter is in some ways an evolution of HomeKit designed to work with multiple frameworks and with multiple simultaneous controllers). You can run Matter on this board but you can also run it on any Sparkfun ESP32 board, and on a number of other CPUs. The distinguishing quality of this board is that it has a Thread radio, not that it can run Matter applications. Likewise you could run non-Matter TCP/IP applications over Thread, or you could build a Zigbee sensor node with this board, which also wouldn't involve Matter.
Matter also isn't unique to Silicon Labs; they don't own it nor did they write the implementation that runs on this CPU. Matter originates from the Connectivity Standards Alliance which Silicon Labs is a member of, along with hundreds of other companies. Their implementation of Matter is the reference and only implementation, available on Github.
So, cool board, but the name you chose is going to further confuse people who are already confused.