Concurrent Zigbee and Thread on a single chip
Out of the box the Home Assistant SkyConnect will support only Zigbee. We're working on a firmware update that makes it possible to run both Zigbee and Thread at the same time. Thread is the mesh networking protocol that powers Matter, the new standard for smart home devices.
Once available, Home Assistant SkyConnect will run part of the software that normally runs inside Zigbee and Thread chips inside Home Assistant add-ons. These add-ons will be installed and updated automatically without requiring user interaction.
We will make this multi-protocol set-up first available for Home Assistant OS installations. We will be looking into making this available for Home Assistant Supervised and Home Assistant Container installations afterwards.
Thread (Matter) via firmware update
With multi-protocol, the processing of the radio packets is moved into Linux daemons. This means we run one daemon to split the radio packets into Zigbee and Thread streams, one daemon to process the Zigbee radio packets and one daemon to process the Thread radio packets.
To make this all work together, we need to strictly manage the version of the firmware on the stick and the three different Linux daemons. The easiest way for us to do this is using Home Assistant add-ons in a known host environment, which is Home Assistant OS.
See demo on YouTube.
- Home Assistant SkyConnect USB Stick
- 50cm/19.6in USB extension cable