Matter integration in the nRF Connect SDK

Matter is included in the nRF Connect SDK as one of the submodule repositories managed with the West (Zephyr’s meta-tool) tool, using a dedicated Matter fork. That is, the code used for the nRF Connect SDK and Matter integration is stored in the Matter repository (nRF Connect platform) and is compiled when building one of the available Matter samples.

A graphical depiction of the |NCS| repository structure

The nRF Connect SDK repository structure

Both instances depend on each other, but their development is independent to ensure that they both support the latest stable version of one another. The fork is maintained and verified as a part of the nRF Connect SDK release process as an OSS repository.

The Matter repository fetched into the fork also includes documentation files. A selection of these pages is included in the nRF Connect SDK documentation under the Matter documentation tab.

Matter stack in the nRF Connect SDK

Matter is located on the top application layer of the integration model, looking from the networking point of view. The nRF Connect SDK and Zephyr provide the Bluetooth® LE, Thread, and Wi-Fi stacks, which must be integrated with the Matter stack using a special intermediate layer. In case of Matter over Thread, the nRF Connect SDK’s Multiprotocol Service Layer (MPSL) driver allows running Bluetooth LE and Thread concurrently on the same radio chip.

nRF Connect platform in Matter

nRF Connect platform in Matter

For detailed description, see the nRF Connect platform overview page in the Matter documentation.

Matter platform designs (System-on-Chip, multiprotocol)

Matter in the nRF Connect SDK supports the System-on-Chip, multiprotocol platform designs, available with the related network stack on Nordic Semiconductor devices in the nRF Connect SDK. For more information about the multiprotocol feature, see Multiprotocol support.

Matter over Thread

In this design, the Matter stack, the OpenThread stack, and the Bluetooth LE stack run on a single SoC.

This platform design is suitable for the following development kits:

Hardware platforms

PCA

Board name

Build target

nRF52840 DK

PCA10056

nrf52840dk_nrf52840

nrf52840dk_nrf52840

nRF5340 DK

PCA10095

nrf5340dk_nrf5340

nrf5340dk_nrf5340_cpuapp

nrf5340dk_nrf5340_cpuapp_ns

nRF54L15 PDK

PCA10156

nrf54l15pdk_nrf54l15

nrf54l15pdk_nrf54l15_cpuapp

The design differences between the supported SoCs are the following:

  • On the nRF5340 and nRF54L15 SoCs, the network core runs both the Bluetooth LE Controller and the 802.15.4 IEEE Radio Driver.

  • On the nRF52840 SoC, all components are located on the application core.

Multiprotocol Thread and Bluetooth LE architecture (nRF52, nRF54L)

Multiprotocol Thread and Bluetooth LE architecture on nRF52 Series and nRF54L Series devices

Multiprotocol Thread and Bluetooth LE architecture (nRF53)

Multiprotocol Thread and Bluetooth LE architecture on nRF53 Series devices

Matter over Wi-Fi

In this design, the Matter stack, the Wi-Fi stack, and the Bluetooth LE stack run on a single SoC.

This platform design is suitable for the following development kits:

Hardware platforms

PCA

Board name

Build target

nRF7002 DK

PCA10143

nrf7002dk_nrf5340

nrf7002dk_nrf5340_cpuapp

nRF5340 DK

PCA10095

nrf5340dk_nrf5340

nrf5340dk_nrf5340_cpuapp

For this design, the Wi-Fi driver on the application core communicates with the external nRF7002 Wi-Fi 6 Companion IC over QSPI or SPI:

  • For the nrf5340dk_nrf5340_cpuapp, nRF7002 support is added using nrf7002ek shield connected through SPI.

  • For the nrf7002dk_nrf5340_cpuapp, nRF7002 is connected with the nRF5340 SoC through QSPI.

Multiprotocol Wi-Fi and Bluetooth LE architecture (nRF53 with the nRF7002 Wi-Fi 6 Companion IC)

Multiprotocol Wi-Fi and Bluetooth LE architecture (nRF53 with the nRF7002 Wi-Fi 6 Companion IC)

Switchable Matter over Wi-Fi and Matter over Thread

In this design, the Matter stack, the OpenThread stack, the Wi-Fi stack, and the Bluetooth LE stack run on a single SoC.

The application is built with support for both Matter over Thread and Matter over Wi-Fi. The device activates either Thread or Wi-Fi transport protocol on boot, based on a flag stored in the non-volatile memory on the device. By default, Matter over Wi-Fi is activated.

You can trigger the switch from one transport protocol to the other using the Button 3 on the nRF5340 DK. This toggles the flag stored in the non-volatile memory, and then the device is factory reset and rebooted. Because the flag is toggled, the factory reset does not switch the device back to the default transport protocol (Wi-Fi). Instead, the factory reset and recommissioning to a Matter fabric allows the device to be provisioned with network credentials for the transport protocol that it was switched to, and to start operating in the selected network.

For an example of how this design works, see the Thread and Wi-Fi switching feature in the Matter door lock sample.

This platform design is suitable for the following development kits:

Hardware platforms

PCA

Board name

Build target

nRF5340 DK

PCA10095

nrf5340dk_nrf5340

nrf5340dk_nrf5340_cpuapp

This design is only available for the nrf5340dk_nrf5340_cpuapp with the nrf7002ek shield. The Wi-Fi driver on the application core communicates through SPI with the external nRF7002 EK shield, which works as the Wi-Fi 6 Companion IC.

Multiprotocol Wi-Fi/Thread and Bluetooth LE architecture (nRF53 with the nRF7002 EK shield as the Wi-Fi 6 Companion IC)

Multiprotocol Wi-Fi/Thread and Bluetooth LE architecture (nRF53 with the nRF7002 EK shield as the Wi-Fi 6 Companion IC)