Thread Group releases its networking protocol, adds Qualcomm as board member

Almost exactly a year after announcing itself to the world, the Thread Group is releasing the Thread 1.0 specifications and documentation that will allow its members to build Thread-compliant products.

"It's a fantastic milestone," said Thread Group President Chris Boross, noting that all members are now getting access to that documentation. "It's a big step in the Thread program."

The group was created with seven founding companies and since it started accepting new members in October, it has attracted more than 160 companies, including one of its latest members, Qualcomm. Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) Technologies previously was not a member but it has now joined the board of directors. The company's participation is particularly notable since it has a history of working on Internet of Things (IoT) protocols and contributed its source code to the AllSeen Alliance.

What the AllSeen Alliance is doing is complementary to what Thread is doing, and "it's not competitive," Boross told FierceWirelessTech. The AllSeen Alliance developed an application framework, and that technology runs over different networks, like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and hopefully, in the future, Thread. While Thread is not announcing a partnership between the two, "obviously, Thread has been designed to work with lots of different applications," and it continues to work with ZigBee, which is just the first of many partnerships in Thread's future, he said.

The Thread Group also announced it has retained Thomas Sciorilli to lead the Thread product certification program, which will launch in September. Sciorilli has more than 15 years of experience leading and growing technical organizations; he was the technical operations director for the Wi-Fi Alliance from 2008 to 2012. He will oversee the Thread testing program that will make ensure products work securely together as intended right out of the box.

According to the Thread Group, millions of existing 802.15.4 wireless devices already on the market can run Thread with just a software enhancement--no new hardware is required. Thread is specifically geared for deployment for devices in and throughout the home.

The first Thread-certified products are expected to be available to consumers in late 2015. The seven founding member organizations are Yale Security, Silicon Labs, Samsung Electronics, Nest Labs, Freescale Semiconductor, Big Ass Fans and ARM.

For more:
- see the press release

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