Silicon Labs has introduced its Wireless Gecko portfolio of multiprotocol system-on-chip (SoC) devices, providing flexible connectivity and price/performance options for Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Silicon Labs’ new Wireless Gecko SoCs integrate a powerful ARM® Cortex®-M4 core, energy-friendly Gecko technology, a 2.4 GHz radio with up to 19.5 dBm output power, and advanced hardware cryptography. Wireless Gecko SoCs speed wireless design with best-of-breed Thread and ZigBee® stacks for mesh networks, intuitive radio interface software for proprietary protocols, Bluetooth® Smart for point-to-point connectivity, and Simplicity Studio™ tools to simplify wireless development, configuration, debugging and low-energy design. The Wireless Gecko portfolio features three families of multiprotocol SoCs optimised for real-world IoT use cases and the most popular wireless protocols: Blue Gecko family – Bluetooth Smart connectivity with unmatched output power and range Mighty Gecko family – Best-in-class ZigBee and Thread connectivity for mesh networks Flex Gecko family – Flexible proprietary wireless protocol options for diverse applications “The Wireless Gecko portfolio provides customers with a much-needed one-stop-shop approach to multiprotocol IoT connectivity with flexible cost/performance options supported by best-in-class software stacks and a common development environment that greatly simplifies wireless design,” said Daniel Cooley, Vice President of Marketing for IoT products at Silicon Labs. “From Bluetooth Smart to Thread and ZigBee to proprietary stacks, our Wireless Gecko SoCs offer the industry’s most balanced set of protocol combinations to address diverse customer use cases.” Silicon Labs’ pin- and software-compatible Wireless Gecko families enable customers to leverage their development tool and software investments. Developers can select the wireless protocol to meet their application needs today and can easily migrate to other protocols within the portfolio with the assurance of hardware/software reuse. Gecko MCU technology Wireless Gecko SoCs combine Silicon Labs’ energy-friendly Gecko MCU technology with a multiprotocol 2.4 GHz RF transceiver in a single-die solution with scalable memory options (up to 256 kB flash and up to 32 kB RAM). Hallmarks of Gecko technology include well-architected energy modes, ultra-fast wake-up/sleep transitions, and the Peripheral Reflex System (PRS), enabling autonomous operation of low-power peripherals while the MCU core sleeps. Based on an ARM Cortex-M4 processor with powerful floating point and DSP capabilities, the Gecko MCU consumes only 63 µA/MHz in active mode. The Wireless Gecko SoCs also integrate a software-programmable power amplifier (PA) and balun to reduce bill of materials (BOM) cost and design complexity while providing scalable output power ranging from -30 dBm up to +19.5 dBm for applications requiring long-range connectivity. “Low-power connectivity is a key factor in the deployment of IoT nodes at scale, and Silicon Labs’ new Wireless Gecko SoC portfolio offers a broad choice of connectivity standards,” said John Ronco, Vice President, Product Management, ARM. “Silicon Labs already has an impressive range of highly efficient ARM-based MCUs, and we see the addition of wireless interoperability as a key step in enabling developers to realise the potential of the IoT market.” Further enhancing energy efficiency and application code footprint, Wireless Gecko SoCs feature a built-in hardware cryptographic accelerator providing fast, energy-efficient autonomous encryption and decryption of Internet security protocols such as TLS/SSL with minimal CPU intervention. The on-chip accelerator supports advanced algorithms such as AES with 128- or 256-bit keys, elliptical curve cryptography (ECC), SHA-1 and SHA-224/256. Hardware cryptography enables developers to meet evolving IoT security requirements more efficiently than with software-only techniques required by competing solutions. Wireless Gecko portfolio highlights 1. EFR32BG Blue Gecko family Supports Bluetooth Smart (Bluetooth Low Energy or “BLE”) including the BLE 4.2 specification as well as proprietary wireless protocols Offers the highest output power for BLE designs (up to +19.5 dBm), enabling BLE products to deliver excellent range and long battery life regardless of the chosen output power Supported by Silicon Labs’ market-proven Bluetooth Smart software stack and easy-to-use BGScript scripting language, enabling customers to get to market quickly Enables customers to migrate from Silicon Labs’ pre-certified Blue Gecko BLE module to SoC-based designs while preserving their software and engineering investments 2. EFR32MG Mighty Gecko family Provides a best-in-class multiprotocol SoC solution for low-power 802.15.4 mesh networking Supports Silicon Labs’ industry-leading ZigBee PRO software stack for ZigBee applications and Silicon Labs’ pre-certified Thread protocol stack for IP-based mesh networks Offers a seamless migration path for customers needing to support connected devices using ZigBee or Thread Gives developers the flexibility to select the optimal protocol (ZigBee, Thread, Bluetooth Smart or proprietary) for their IoT applications 3. EFR32FG Flex Gecko family Supports popular proprietary protocol options for diverse applications including M2M links, building automation, security and electronic shelf labels, giving developers the freedom to optimise their designs without constraints from industry alliances and standards Provides a flexible SoC architecture with built-in support for a variety of differentiated physical layer and packet formats and modulation schemes Features Silicon Labs’ new, intuitive radio abstraction and interface layer (RAIL) software, easing the complexity of proprietary wireless development by simplifying radio configuration and enabling developers to migrate their application code across Silicon Labs’ Wireless Gecko products and future wireless ICs Simplifying Wireless Gecko development The Wireless Gecko SoC portfolio is supported by Silicon Labs’ Simplicity Studio development platform, a unified environment for concurrent MCU and RF design. Simplicity Studio tools include AppBuilder, allowing developers to easily configure wireless applications while ensuring software reuse across Wireless Gecko SoC-based designs; Desktop Network Analyzer, providing full visibility and debugging of wireless networking activity by using the SoC’s packet trace port; and Energy Profiler, enabling developers to minimise the energy consumption of their code and extend battery life.
Silicon Labs has introduced its Blue Gecko wireless SoC family offering flexible price/performance options and output power scaling up to +19.5 dBm – the highest available for the Bluetooth® Smart market. A part of Silicon Labs’ multiprotocol Wireless Gecko portfolio announced recently, the new EFR32BG Blue Gecko SoC family sets a new standard for scalability, energy efficiency, security and design simplicity for Bluetooth Smart applications. Supported by best-in-class development tools and software, Blue Gecko SoCs reduce the cost and complexity of adding Bluetooth Smart to an array of applications including the connected home, wearables, remote controls, baby monitors, beacons, electronic shelf labels, health and fitness devices, and point of sale equipment. The new Blue Gecko SoCs round out Silicon Labs’ Blue Gecko portfolio, the most comprehensive, flexible set of hardware/software solutions available for Bluetooth Smart 4.2-ready development. In addition to the wireless SoCs, the Blue Gecko portfolio includes pre-certified wireless modules, Silicon Labs’ Bluetooth Smart software stack and an easy-to-use software development kit (SDK). Customers who want to optimise their bill of materials (BOM) and R&D costs can begin designing with a Blue Gecko module for faster time to market, design simplicity, and minimal certification-related cost and effort, and then migrate to a cost-efficient Blue Gecko SoC-based design with minimal system redesign and complete software reuse. Blue Gecko SoCs offer outstanding -94 dBm sensitivity and the highest output power available in the Bluetooth Smart market, scaling from -30 dBm up to +19.5 dBm – the maximum transmit power allowed for Bluetooth-certified end products. The SoCs achieve this market-leading wireless performance while reducing design complexity, BOM cost and board space with an integrated balun and a software-programmable power amplifier (PA) that enables Bluetooth Smart products to deliver optimal battery life regardless of the chosen output power. “Blue Gecko SoCs provide a smarter choice for the Bluetooth Smart market by offering an unmatched combination of RF performance, energy efficiency, security and design simplicity enabled by our best-in-class wireless SDK, software stack and global customer support,” said Daniel Cooley, Vice President of Marketing for IoT products at Silicon Labs. “The Blue Gecko portfolio leverages a common software architecture making it easy for customers to migrate from modules to SoCs as their volumes and product requirements change, while also providing code portability and usability across different Wireless Gecko SoC products.” Blue Gecko SoC product highlights Single-die SoC combining Gecko MCU technology with a 2.4 GHz RF transceiver Multiprotocol support for Bluetooth Smart and proprietary 2.4 GHz protocols Among the most energy-efficient Bluetooth Smart SoCs available, consuming 8.7 mA in peak receive mode and 8.8 mA @ 0 dBm in peak transmit mode 40 MHz ARM Cortex-M4 processor with powerful floating point and DSP capabilities Energy-friendly Gecko MCU consumes only 63 µA/MHz in active mode Integrated hardware cryptographic accelerator enabling fast, energy-efficient autonomous encryption and decryption of Internet security protocols with minimal CPU intervention Support for advanced algorithms such as AES with 128- or 256-bit keys, elliptical curve cryptography (ECC), SHA-1 and SHA-224/256 Flexible price/performance options with choice of output power, package configurations (QFN32, QFN48) and memory sizes (128-256 kB flash, 16-32 kB RAM) “Silicon Labs’ Blue Gecko SoCs provide Mobilogix with an ideal Bluetooth platform to build very high-performance, feature-rich devices exceeding design specs while meeting BOM cost targets and other requirements. Our beacon products based on Blue Gecko SoCs will deliver an experience that our global customers demand and expect in wireless performance, sensitivity and range,” said James Jefferies, President and CEO of Mobilogix, a leading Internet of Things (IoT) systems integrator. “A deciding factor in our choice of Blue Gecko is Silicon Labs’ comprehensive Bluetooth Smart ecosystem, which includes pre-certified module options and easy-to-use development tools that make wireless design incredibly fast and productive.” The Blue Gecko SoC family is supported by Silicon Labs’ Simplicity Studio™ development platform, a unified environment for concurrent MCU and RF design. Simplicity Studio tools include AppBuilder enabling developers to simplify wireless configuration; Desktop Network Analyzer providing full visibility of all wireless networking activity; and Energy Profiler allowing developers to optimise energy consumption and extend battery life. Silicon Labs’ easy-to-use BGScript™ scripting language further simplifies Bluetooth Smart development. Using the familiar, BASIC-like BGScript syntax, developers can create Bluetooth applications quickly without requiring external MCUs to run the application logic.
Silicon Labs has introduced a plug-and-play Wi-Fi module solution for Internet of Things (IoT) applications where exceptional RF performance, small footprint, easy application development and fast time to market are key requirements. Silicon Labs’ fully integrated Wizard Gecko WGM110 module solution combines all of the necessary elements required for robust IoT Wi-Fi connectivity including a high-performance 2.4 GHz 802.11b/g/n radio, integrated antenna, global certifications, an energy-friendly EFM32™ Gecko microcontroller (MCU), an embedded Wi-Fi stack, and multiple Internet protocols including TCP and UDP with TLS security. The WGM110 module provides an ideal solution for adding Wi-Fi to industrial/M2M systems, wireless sensors, remote controls, thermostats, connected home products, automotive infotainment, point-of-sale devices, and fitness and medical equipment. The most widely available wireless protocol for the IoT, Wi-Fi is supported by laptops, mobile phones, tablets and countless connected “things,” making it ideal for device-to-cloud or device-to-device connectivity to aggregate data or provision IoT devices without the need for complex networking infrastructure or dedicated hubs. A pre-certified solution By integrating the 802.11 radio, antenna, MCU and Wi-Fi stack into a pre-certified solution, the WGM110 module helps developers reduce R&D risk and costs and greatly accelerate time to market. No RF or antenna design expertise is required to add Wi-Fi to connected devices; no RF testing equipment or tuning processes are needed during manufacturing. The WGM110 module meets key RF certifications worldwide including CE, FCC, IC and other regional certifications. The Wi-Fi and TCP/IP stack provides all essential secure connectivity functions and APIs, and Silicon Labs constantly tests the stack for interoperability with the latest wireless ecosystems. The WGM110 module can serve as a Wi-Fi client or a Wi-Fi access point, making device provisioning as easy as surfing the web. The module includes Silicon Labs’ BGScript™ scripting language, which can be used to develop and host end applications without relying on an external MCU, and it can run in a network co-processor mode, easing the complexity of TCP/IP networking and enabling the host controller to handle application tasks. The module also offers highly flexible hardware interfaces, simplifying connections to peripherals and sensors. “The Wizard Gecko WGM110 module provides developers with the fastest path to native IoT connectivity,” said Daniel Cooley, vice president of marketing for IoT products at Silicon Labs. “Our highly integrated, pre-certified module solution combines robust RF performance and a very small footprint with best-in-class development tools, enabling developers to focus on end applications instead of protocol issues, costly RF certification and production testing.” WGM110 module highlights Excellent -98 dBM receiver sensitivity and +16 dBm transmit power, enabling long range connectivity (300-500 m typical) Small-footprint 14.4 x 21 x 2 mm module: up to 40 percent smaller than competitive options Ultra-low-power EFM32 Gecko MCU with 48 MHz ARM® Cortex®-M3 core High-performance 2.4 GHz IEEE 802.11 b/g/n transceiver Integrated high-efficiency chip antenna Extensive peripheral integration including UART, I2C, SPI and USB Robust Wi-Fi protocol stack including HTTP/TLS/TCP/IP protocols for cloud integration Software API compatible with Silicon Labs’ existing WF121 module for easy migration SLWSTK6120A wireless SDK gets developers up and running in minutes Dedicated host interface to external MCUs running the end application BGScript language supporting standalone design or hosting applications on the module Worldwide application engineering support from Silicon Labs’ connectivity experts Simplifying Wi-Fi development The complimentary WGM110 wireless software development kit (SDK) includes all the tools needed to create IoT applications including BGScript for host or standalone operation and APIs for the network co-processor mode. The WGM110 module is the only solution available that implements Wi-Fi with scripting to host applications. Using a familiar BASIC-like syntax, BGScript enables developers to create Wi-Fi applications quickly without using external MCUs to run the application logic. The code can be executed on the WGM110 module, eliminating the need for an external MCU, which helps reduce cost and board space and speeds time to market. Wi-Fi application profiles and examples, extensive documentation and an online community further accelerate application development. Developers can get started in minutes with the SLWSTK6120A wireless starter kit featuring the WGM110 module, main boards, temperature and humidity sensors, accelerometer, joystick, LEDs, push buttons, display and USB interface.