Home Assistant launches SkyConnect USB dongle with Zigbee, Thread, Matter support

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The SkyConnect Home Assistant is a USB dongle supporting Zigbee, Matter and Thread connectivity designed to work with the popular open source Home Assistant home automation solution, and allows users to bring Home Assistant Yellow (formerly Home Assistant Amber) functionality to any platform running Home Assistant.

The USB dongle is based on a Silicon Labs EFR32MG21 Gecko Series 2 Arm Cortex-M33 wireless microcontroller with a 2.4GHz multi-protocol 802.15.4 radio that can simultaneously run Zigbee 3.0 (EmberZNet/EZSP) and Thread/Matter (OpenThread/Spinel ) stacks/protocols at the same time using firmware in RCP RCP (Radio Co-Processor) mode.

SkyConnect Home Assistant Specifications:

  • MCU- Silab EFR32MG21 Arm Cortex-M33 microcontroller @ up to 80 MHz with DSP and FPU, up to 1024 KB flash memory, up to 96 KB RAM, 2.4 GHz radio
  • Wireless
    • Protocols – Zigbee, Matter, Thread
    • TX power – up to +20dBm
    • RX Sensitivity – -104dBm (250kbps)
    • 2.4GHz PCB antenna
    • Stack – EmberZNet Serial Protocol (EZSP)
  • USB – USB 2.0 Type-A male up to 12 Mbps
  • Bridge – Chip Silabs CP2102N USB to UART
  • Power supply – 5V DC / up to 150mA
  • Dimensions – 38.5 x 18 x 4.5mm
  • Weight – 4 grams

The SkyConnect dongle supports Over-The-Wire (OTW) firmware updates, which will notably enable support for Matter in November since at launch only Zigbee and Thread are supported. The USB drive will come with a 50cm extension cable as USB 3.0 ports (those with blue inside) are known to cause significant noise and radio interference to all 2.4 wireless devices GHz”.

SkyConnect Home Assistant USB Dongle is up for pre-order for $29.99 on seed studio, Ameridroidand several European distributors that you can find on the product sheet. The first batch is supposed to ship in November or December. The price is higher than for the Sonoff ZBDongle-E ($19.90) based on the same EFR32MG21 microcontroller, but the official dongle is quite small and I guess you would sponsor the open source project that way.

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