Interoperability between all Z-Wave products is the cornerstone of the brand.
In order to make this brand promise to developers, customers, and consumers, there is a straight-forward certification program in place. All Z-Wave products must be certified before commercial launch. When the certification requirements have been met, products can feature the Z-Wave interoperability logo badges.
Silicon Labs owns the certification process and there are 2 mandatory components to Z-Wave certification.
1. Technical certification is managed through Silicon Labs utilizing an independent 3rd party test house. Certification requirements are based on the technical specifications and compliance is tested & verified based on these. Please refer to the Specifications section of this website for the current specification documents.
2. Market Certification is managed through the Z-Wave Alliance. Information regarding this can be accessed via the link at the bottom of this page.
Both components must have been successfully completed before a device certification can be issued.
The Certification Process is Simple:
1. Purchase a development kit from one of the distributors listed here and gain access to the Z-Wave technical site where all the specifications for certification are spelled out.
2. The company whose brand will appear on the product MUST join the Z-Wave Alliance as a full member, as this is a requirement for market certification. Consider this step early in your development process, in order to take advantage of benefits the Alliance provides that can speed your time to market. Login to the Z-Wave Alliance member website to review the latest Market Certification requirements and guidelines.
3. Request access to the web-based Z-Wave Plus Certification Portal and start a device submission to help identify all of the certification requirements.
a.) Select one of the independent test houses to perform the testing.
b.) Use the integrated Wiki to see the test specifications for your device.
4. Download the Certification Test Tool (CTT) and use it during product development to test and verify your Z-Wave implementation.
5. After ensuring a compliant product, finalize and submit your form on the portal. A case number is automatically assigned as soon as it is submitted. You can start working with the test house as soon as your submission has been reviewed and approved.
6. Start your Market Certification on the Z-Wave Alliance’s website as soon as you have a case number. Market Certification verifies:
- The placement and size of the Z-Wave Plus mark on your product and product packaging.
- The placement, size, method & material for the Z-Wave Security 2 Device Specific Key information on your product.
- That common and key information is present in the user guide/manual for your product.
- That the image, description, and features of the product are accurate and helpful to consumers.
7. Device certifications are issued after the device has passed the technical tests AND the Market Certification has been approved by the Z-Wave Alliance.
8. After approval, launch your product into the interoperable Z-Wave ecosystem, which enjoys over 70% market share in the smart home. The Z-Wave brand guidelines can be found here.
Z-Wave Certification Program
The Classic Z-Wave Certification program for 300 series devices was retired effective December 31, 2018. New certifications have not been allowed
since April 2, 2017 and recertifications are no longer allowed.
All new 500 series Z-Wave Plus devices MUST be based on SDK v6.81.03 or newer and implement S2 Security. Only active SDKs published by Silicon Labs can be used for certification of new devices. Maintained and Monitored SDKs may be used for recertifications. Check the Z-Wave SDK section of the Silicon Labs’ tech support website for a list of current active SDKs
A new Z-Wave Plus v2 Certification Program has been launched in conjunction with the 700 Series ASICs. This new program is optional for 500 series
but mandatory for all 700 series devices. It will run in parallel with the current Z-Wave Plus certification program so the web-based certification system has been updated to provide separate certification forms for the two programs. Selection of the appropriate form will need to be made when a new case is being started. Although technical requirements will vary between the two programs, the certification process is not changing. Z-Wave Plus devices will continue to receive certifications with a “ZC10” prefix while devices certified to the new Z-Wave Plus v2 standards will receive “ZC12” certifications.
Certification of devices to Z-Wave standards is required as part of the Trademark and Distribution License agreement and every device must pass a series of stringent tests to assure that it is compliant prior to the device being marketed or sold commercially.
The number of companies developing Z-Wave products along with the variety and applications for those products is constantly increasing. Since the foundation for continuous growth of Z-Wave in the world marketplace is interoperability, the importance of compliance to Z-Wave standards cannot be overstated.
All devices and software utilizing Z-Wave technology must be certified. A licensee can build up to 500 prototypes of a device during the development process, but these cannot be sold. If they are distributed for testing & evaluation they MUST be marked as “non-certified samples” and “not for resale”.
All developers MUST have a Manufacturer ID assigned to their company. Requests for new IDs must be submitted to the Certification Manager via the online support system and include the following:
- Company name as it should be listed in our database
- Company address
- Complete contact information for the primary certification contact
- Public or Private
- Public means that it can be published within the Z-Wave developers’ community
- Private means that it will be kept confidential until the developer’s first device is certified.
Certification of devices to Z-Wave standards prior to distribution and/or sale is mandatory. This is covered in the evaluation agreement that must be accepted as a prerequisite to the receipt of a Z-Wave SDK and technical documentation.
All 500 series devices must be Z-Wave Plus certified. Products based on a Z-Wave ASIC MUST also achieve QFN Certification before being submitted for Z-Wave Plus certification.
- Z-Wave Plus devices are tested by our independent test partners: BuLogics in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Pepper-One in Zwickau, Germany; IDG in Guangzhou, China. The role of the test partner is to confirm the test results provided by the developer and verify compliance. Contact information is provided in the Z-Wave Plus certification portal.
- Custom ASIC implementations require a separate certification. These are tested by Silicon Labs team in Singapore and are in addition to the standard Z-Wave Plus or Z-Wave Plus v2 device certification.
Certification is also a prerequisite for the use of the Z-Wave logo or name. The Z-Wave or Z-Wave Plus logo on a product or package assures consumers, dealers, integrators and service providers that the products will reliably perform with all Z-Wave certified products designed for the same region.
A detailed description of the certification mprogram is described in this document:
Z-Wave Certification Support
Contact Z-Wave Support or your local Silicon Labs Field Applications Engineer for questions regarding the Z-Wave protocol or Command Class implementation.
Contact Z-Wave Specifications for questions regarding the Z-Wave Device Type, Role Type, Command Classes or Command Class Control Specifications.
Contact the Silicon Labs Z-Wave Certification Manager for questions regarding the overall certification process or questions regarding certification interoperability testing done by the independent test partners.
Contact the Z-Wave Alliance Certification Team for questions regarding the Market Certification process.
Custom ASIC Implementation Certification Program
Certification is required for custom implementation of a Z-Wave ASIC. The Word document certification form can be downloaded from this website. Completed forms and signed copies of the self-certification page from the form can be submitted to the Certification Manager via the online support system
Design review and testing is performed by Silicon Labs' team. QFN certifications only cover the custom ASIC implementation and end device(s) utilizing these must also be Z-Wave plus certified.
Certification Maintenance and Fees
Certification Maintenance: It is the OEM’s/developer’s responsibility to maintain their certifications and keep them current. Changes to certified devices typically require re-certification however; in some situations, a one-page Compliance Statement may be all that is needed. Please refer to Section 3 of the INS10638 Certification Overview for details.
Important Notice: Changing the Z-Wave ASIC or module in a certified device requires that the device undergo a full new certification.
Certification Fees: Fees for testing end devices are paid to the independent test partner for their services in testing and verifying compliance to the specifications and standards. Fees are listed in the INS12578 Certification Fee Schedule
Compliance Test Tool (CTT)
The Z-Wave Compliance Test Tool (CTT) is provided by Silicon Labs to licensees of the Z-Wave Software Development Kit (SDK). The CTT is designed to ensure that developers have a tool to assist in performing the self-certification tests required for verification that Command Classes (CCs) have been implemented correctly.
Use of the CTT does not guarantee certification, but it is a significant aid to the manufacturers’ self-certification process.