Matter's key benefit is that it's focussed on ease of installation and purchasing. Z-Wave has long been focussed on providing a complete automation system. One is brand new, the other has been the amongst the most broadly deployed solutions since 2009. But when it comes to Matter versus Z-Wave, which standard wins?
In the following table, we compare the two best chips for Matter and Z-Wave Plus from leading chip-developers Silicon Labs. We have to caution that it's not a complete comparison - while 800 series Z-Wave products all benefit from using one, high-end chip, not all Matter devices will. There'll be multiple types of Matter chips and modules, each with different capabilities and performance. In short - all Z-Wave Plus devices are born equal, the same cannot be said for Matter devices.
|Matter||Z-Wave Plus V2|
|Key aim||Ease of choice and installation despite different wireless chips in Matter products aimed at 'simplifying smart home' for end users.||All-in-one automation standard inclusive of automation, security, and network management translated into higher-quality performance.|
|Hub required||Yes, necessary for quality automation. Inclsuive of Amazon Echo and Apple HomePod.|
Note that Thread and Matter try to market that you need a 'Border Router Gateway' and not a hub; they're effectively the same thing.
|Yes, necessary for quality automation. Inclusive of Atrim Stick.|
Some Zigbee device profiles additionally compatible and ported into Matter standard. Matter is, essentially, an application running on top of Thread.
|First release||Matter 1.0 delayed since 2021||1999|
Most existing Thread and Zigbee devices cannot be upgraded to Matter as they lack memory for both 802.15.4 functionality and a secure enclave for security certificates.
All editions of Z-Wave and Z-Wave Plus.
EFR32MG24 can be flashed to work with BLE, Bluetooth mesh, Matter, OpenThread, Proprietary 2.4 GHz code, and Zigbee or to have multiprotocol support. Such support unlikely to be open to end-users.
|Z-Wave Plus V2|
|Local processing||Yes, hub dependent||Yes, hub dependent|
|Simplified setup||Optional, via Bluetooth, NFC, and QR codes||Yes, SmartStart|
|Energy consumption metering||No||Yes|
|Frequency||2.4 GHz (Wi-Fi band)|
Can communciate via Wi-Fi and IEEE 802.15.4. Interruption and slow performance from signal interference possible.
|Varies by region|
Sub-GHz band avoids most common cause of interference.
|Signal interruption||More; expect all the issues of weak / lost Wi-Fi signals||Less; signals encounter far less interference than Matter|
|Max. # connected devices||~250||232 in relay mode, 4,000 in star network|
|Max. wireless range (Relay)||TBD||401 metres|
|Max. wireless range (Star network)||TBD||2.41 kilometres|
Z-Wave Long Range products only
|Battery life||TBD||Max. 10 years|
|CPU / MCU||32-bit ARM® Cortex M33||32-bit ARM® Cortex M33|
|CPU / MCU Speed||78 MHz||78 MHz|
|RAM||Up to 256 kB||64 kB|
|Flash Memory||Up to 1536 kB||512 kB|
|Operating voltage||1.71 to 3.8 V||1.8 to 3.8 V|
|Operating ambient temperature||-40 to 125°C||-40 to 125°C|
|Chipset dimensions||6 x 6 mm||6.5 x 6.5 mm|
|Unique device IDs||Yes||Yes|
|Public key (PKI) certificate management||Yes||Yes, ECDH based|
|Secure Vault||Yes, optional||Yes, optional|
Last updated: 29 July 2022