The Thread Group wants to encourage members of the consortium to embrace its networking protocol for the internet of things by rolling out an initial hardware reference test bed and test harness and by opening up access to its test lab.
By giving members these tools, Thread Group officials are hoping to drive adoption of its Thread 1.1 technical specification in devices for the connected home and elsewhere. At the same time, the consortium—one of several industry groups developing standards for the internet of things (IoT)—said that chip makers ARM and NXP Semiconductors and IoT technology vendor Silicon Labs have developed the first conforming stacks that have passed testing based on Thread 1.1.
The unveiling of the new hardware tools, the opening of the test lab to consortium members and the first stacks to pass the tests is a significant step for the Thread Group, according to organization President Grant Erickson.
"The arrival of this milestone generates a new wave of momentum for Thread," Erickson said in a statement. "We're very excited to see the first Thread 1.1-conforming stacks come to market, and for our member companies to move their Thread-enabled products towards commercial availability."
The Thread Group was launched in 2014 by Nest—which is owned by Alphabet and makes such products as smart thermostats—and other vendors, including ARM and Samsung, to develop a low-power, secure and scalable IP-based wireless mesh network layer that enables IoT devices for the home to connect more easily to the internet and each other. The release of the Thread 1.1 spec was a significant step for the 240-member group, and consortium officials earlier this month said that the spec has helped drive interest among the members and industry alliances in expanding Thread into other areas.
With that in mind, the Thread Group announced last week that they are planning to extend the reach of Thread beyond the connected home and into the commercial sector. Officials said that while the group will continue to develop low-power IP mesh solutions, they will include capabilities to enable Thread to work in both home and businesses.
Now group members can gain access to advanced tools and resources to help drive product development. The hardware test best includes multiple silicon and stack implementations. In addition, a partnership with Grant River Labs led to the development of the test harness, which runs automated test scripts on the bed.