OpenThread released by Nest is an open-source implementation of Thread®. Nest has released OpenThread to make the networking technology used in Nest products more broadly available to developers, in order to accelerate the development of products for the connected home.

With a narrow platform abstraction layer and a small memory footprint, OpenThread is highly portable. It supports both system-on-chip (SoC) and network co-processor (NCP) designs.

Thread Certified component

OpenThread implements all features defined in the Thread 1.1.1 Specification. This specification defines an IPv6-based reliable, secure, and low-power wireless device-to-device communication protocol for home applications.


OpenThread implements all Thread networking layers (IPv6, 6LoWPAN, IEEE 802.15.4 with MAC security, Mesh Link Establishment, Mesh Routing) and device roles, as well as Border Router support.

Application services
  • IPv6 configuration and raw data interface
  • UDP sockets
  • CoAP client and server
  • DHCPv6 client and server
  • DNSv6 client
NCP support
  • Spinel, a general purpose NCP protocol
  • wpantund, a user-space NCP network interface driver/daemon
  • Sniffer support via NCP Spinel nodes
Border Router
  • Web UI for configuration and management
  • Thread Border Agent to support an External Commissioner
  • NAT64 for connecting to IPv4 networks
  • Thread interface driver using wpantund

How will you use OpenThread?

If you're interested in contributing to the ongoing development of OpenThread, then the OpenThread GitHub repository is for you. There you will find all the code, including information on how to contribute, our style guide, code of conduct, licensing, and much more.

If you want to use OpenThread in your own products or for personal deployment, check the options below.


Deploy a Thread network

Determine the hardware and platform design you wish to use to build and deploy your own Thread network. Add a Border Router to connect your Thread network to other network layers, such as Wi-Fi or Ethernet.

Develop applications on top of a Thread network

Use the API Reference as a guide to all application development. IPv6, UDP, CoAP, DHCPv6,'s all there.

Port OpenThread to a new hardware platform

Check out our Porting Guide, which walks you through all the steps necessary to port OpenThread to a new hardware platform.

Get Thread Certification for your OpenThread product

OpenThread can be used for certification by the Thread Group. As a Thread reference stack, OpenThread makes certification easy.


Spotlight — Nest Secure is Thread Ready

The Nest Secure product family features the first Thread Ready products on the market!

Both the Nest Guard and the Nest Detect use OpenThread, along with Weave for out-of-band commissioning. The Nest Guard operates as a Thread Router and Border Router, while the Nest Detect operates as a Sleepy End Device.

Zephyr RTOS adds support for OpenThread

Feb 26, 2018

The Zephyr™ Project, an open source collaborative effort to build a real-time operating system (RTOS) for the Internet of Things (IoT), today announced that OpenThread has become the first Thread protocol implementation to integrate with the Zephyr RTOS.

Android Things LoWPAN API adds support for OpenThread

Dec 14, 2017

Android Things has announced support for OpenThread in its Developer Preview 6.1 LoWPAN API. Use a supported OpenThread platform in an NCP design to add Thread networking to your Android Things devices.

Border Router support for BeagleBone Black added

Nov 17, 2017

OpenThread Border Router now supports BeagleBone Black, a low-cost, open source, community-supported development platform featuring the Texas Instruments Sitara™ AM335x ARM Cortex-A8 processor.

Who supports OpenThread?

Led by Nest, the following companies are contributing to the ongoing development of OpenThread.

What products use OpenThread?

The following products use OpenThread and support the core requirements of the Thread Specification.

Nest Secure

The Nest Secure alarm system, featuring Nest Guard and Nest Detect. Thread Ready.

Nest Cam IQ Indoor

A best-in-class security camera with top-of-its-class brains.

Nest Cam IQ Outdoor

A weatherproof and tamper-resistant outdoor security camera.

Nest Hello

The doorbell that lets you know who's there.

Nest x Yale Lock

A tamper‑proof, key‑free deadbolt that can be locked and unlocked from anywhere.

Nest x Yale Lock

A tamper‑proof, key‑free deadbolt that can be locked and unlocked from anywhere.

Nest Connect

Connects the Nest x Yale Lock to the internet, and serves as a range extender for the Nest Secure system.

Nest Connect

Connects the Nest x Yale Lock to the internet, and serves as a range extender for the Nest Secure system.

Start using OpenThread today

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