Thread IoT Wireless Technology

- Thread IoT wireless connectivity enables secure, lower power reliable communications to be provided for IoT and other applications.


IEEE 802.15.4 Includes:
IEEE 802.15.4     6LoWPAN     Thread    


Thread is a wireless networking protocol using IP data transfer.

Thread wireless connectivity has been developed specifically to support the Internet of Things, IoT, and as a result, it incorporates many features that have not been available in previous standards.

Thread has been designed for consumer applications and devices in and around the home, To enable this to be achieved, Thread has been designed to be set up for easy and secure connections between hundreds of devices to each other and directly to the cloud using real Internet Protocols in a low-power, wireless mesh network.

Thread Group

In order to promote the technology and provide standards to enable interoperability, an organisation called the Thread Group has been set up.

The Thread Group founding members include: Yale Security, Silicon Labs, Samsung Electronics, Nest Labs, Freescale Semiconductor, Big Ass Fans and ARM.

Thread IoT wireless basics

Thread has been designed to enable IPv6 data to be carried, a facility that other similar networking technologies cannot currently accommodate.Thread is builds upon proven wireless standards including IEEE 802.15.4 and 6LoWPAN. It has been tailored to suit low power operation - a capability that is becoming increasingly important for IoT applications.

Thread IoT technology can also securely connect up to 250 devices in a wireless mesh network that includes direct Internet and cloud access for every device. In this way, Thread builds on existing standards, while also extending the capability.

Thread IoT advantages

Thread wireless connectivity offers a number of key advantages:

  • Security:   Security is a key issue for the Internet of Things. With hacking becoming more sophisticated devices on the Internet of Things need to be very securely protected. Thread uses banking class encryption to close the security loop-holes found in many previous standards.
  • Simplicity:   Ease of use and simplicity for the end user were key requirements in the development of the Thread IoT standard. The systems allows for easy connection of devices using from tablets, smartphones and the like.
  • Low power:   With users not wanting to maintain the charge of batteries within their devices, The Thread IoT concept has been designed so that devices are able to operate at extremely low power levels.
  • Reliability:   Thread wireless connectivity has been designed to provide reliable communications to many devices. Reliability was a key concept in its design.

Thread IoT summary

The Thread IoT standard features a number of specification figures:


Thread IoT Standard Key Points
Parameter Details
Addressability Direct addressability to all devices - device to device or device to cloud
Scalability Scalable to 250-300 devices in a home
Latency < 100 milliseconds for typical interactions
Interface Allow the use of multiple border routers
Battery operation Battery operated devices have years of expected life, e.g. door locks, security sensors etc
Thread physical layer standard IEEE 802.15.4 (2006)
IEEE 802.15.4 MAC
(including MAC security)
IEEE 802.15.4 (2006)


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