Thread wireless systems consist at a minimum of the following device types.

Thread border router (TBR)

  • Thread border routers (TBR) are the starting point of the wireless network.
  • TBRs are connected via LAN to a Northbound system (e.g. an Edge device) and form the border between the LAN and the Thread wireless network with an integrated Thread wireless interface. TBRs are comparable to WLAN access points.
  • One TBR is required for each Thread system to setup a wireless network.
  • The TBR can be a separate device or integrated on another device (e.g. on the KNX IoT to BACnet/IP gateway).
  • TBRs are mains-powered (in most cases 230 V or 24 V) and always on.


Thread mesh extender (TME) (optional)

  • Thread mesh extenders (TME) extend the signal range. They repeat or extend the wireless signal to build strong and reliable mesh networks.
  • TMEs are similar to WLAN repeaters.
  • TMEs are mains powered (in most cases 230 V or 24 V) and always on.


Thread end devices (SED and MED)

  • Most Thread end devices are sleepy end devices (SEDs) and are generally battery-powered. Typical SEDs include wireless room sensors, wireless radiator actuators, or wireless room units.
  • SEDs connect directly to a TBR or via a TME.
  • The battery-powered SEDs are optimized for low-power consumption and are usually in low-power/sleep mode. They only wake up periodically for measuring and communication.
  • Thread end devices can be mains-powered and are not in sleep mode (e.g. mains-powered sensors). They are always available to transmit messages.

For detailed information on the Thread devices, see 'Related documentation'.