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
A0 to 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 6 ratings:
3 of 3 found this helpful:
I believe this device has excellent potential, but after spending several days trying to figure out how to use it, I am giving up for now. I was able to get the Blink working but adding a sensor or figuring out how to use Silicon Labs' Simplicity did not go well for me. I tried to follow tutorials and my Simplicity did not match the Tutorials and I could not find out how to make it look the same. So it goes on the back burner. I may have discovered my ability limit! I obviously tried the step by step that was provided but again, it did not match the tutorial for setting it up. I am not sure if providing several working projects that could be directly loaded into my Simplicity would help or not.
3 of 4 found this helpful:
I wanted to use this with my Amazon Alexa devices, but it does not come with the required certificate. There doesn't seem to be anywhere to get help to generate a test certificate. The Sparkfun tutorial only has a Google hub example, so I haven't been able to use this board. I have two of these that are basically worthless. I wonder if I can get an RMAs for them.
2 of 3 found this helpful:
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.
Please add link to demo code for this board
There are a few; click on the 'Documents' tab on this page for the Hookup Guide, Connecting Thing Plus Matter to Google Nest Hub Guide, and Using Simplicity Studio with Matter Guide
I really really wanted this device to work. And when it first arrived I was able to get it to work exactly ONCE on my home automation network. And that was with a great deal of digging and reading and searching for examples. Once I started trying to develop my own application, the whole thing went off the rails and I was never even able to return to the original working example I DID manage to get working. The Simplicity Studio is a confusing pain to use with way too many bells and whistles for the hobbyist. And with subsequent updates it is now too far afield from the original example and the original documentation is woefully out of date.
So imagine my excitement when it was announced that there was going to be an Arduino library. I immediately decided I would "slum it" and attack this thing from a more simplistic environment. But after setting everything up and following the examples, I couldn't even get the simple blink program to work on one unit and on my backup unit I couldn't even get the thing to recognize the board. And so I'm at a loss here ... two boards that I was hoping to be able to start working on some of my own home automation that will instead get shoved in a box and forgotten about.
Normally Sparkfun is really good with supporting their products. And I fully recognize that Matter is a new protocol and as such is changing quickly making it hard for the casual coder to keep up. And I appreciate that the Arduino library is an attempt to bring this board to the masses. But I still can't get the thing to work ... at the end of the day that's what I need.
The Arduino core is still very new and should be improving shortly; hang tight!
This board is an excellent platform for testing wireless connectivity and developing / prototyping IoT projects. The board seamlessly integrates into Silicon Labs' Simplicity Studio 5, which offers a comprehensive suite of example applications for things like BLE and Matter.
Arduino is also supported and the most amazing thing is that in Arduino you can mix and match Arduino code with Silabs' own Bluetooth API so if you are familiar with that you can create a plethora of cool applications. I will definitely be using this board in my upcoming hobby projects.