Silicon Labs Releases New Multiband Wireless SoC for IoT

Posted 7/7/2016 6:02:20 PM by RICHARD HARRIS, Executive Editor

Silicon Labs Releases New Multiband Wireless SoC for IoT
As part of its Wireless Gecko portfolio, Silicon Labs has released new multiband, multiprotocol wireless system-on-chip (SoC) devices for the Internet of Things (IoT) market. The new multiband Wireless Gecko SoCs enable developers to use the same multiprotocol device for operation in 2.4 GHz and multiple sub-GHz bands.

The multiband Wireless Gecko SoCs are designed to support standards-based and proprietary 2.4 GHz protocols for short-range connectivity and proprietary sub-GHz protocols for long-range connectivity. A single hardware design can support multiple connectivity scenarios based on the firmware/software running on the SoC. 

This architecture allows developers to work with one set of software tools while supporting proprietary stacks and standard protocols such as ZigBee, Thread and Bluetooth low energy. The new Wireless Gecko portfolio features three SoC families:

- Mighty Gecko family: Supports ZigBeeThread and Bluetooth low energy connectivity at 2.4 GHz and proprietary protocols in both 2.4 GHz and sub-GHz bands.

- Blue Gecko family: Supports Bluetooth low energy connectivity at 2.4 GHz and proprietary protocols in both 2.4 GHz and sub-GHz bands.

- Flex Gecko family: Supports flexible proprietary wireless protocols in 2.4 GHz and sub-GHz bands for diverse applications.

Silicon Labs’ Simplicity Studio development environment offers a library of software tools and access to protocol stacks to simplify connected device designs. Silicon Labs provides certified ZigBee, Thread and Bluetooth low energy stacks for 2.4 GHz connectivity use cases, as well as new wireless software for proprietary wireless networks. Silicon Labs’ radio abstraction interface layer (RAIL) software simplifies radio configuration and enabling developers to migrate their application code across all Wireless Gecko SoCs.

Silicon Labs’ latest wireless networking software is the Connect stack for proprietary applications. Optimized for low-power devices, this IEEE 802.15.4-based stack supports sub-GHz and 2.4 GHz frequency bands and regulatory compliance across geographic regions. 

Connect software abstracts low-level details of network formation and radio configuration. It provides software portability across devices and platforms allowing developers to customize stack features, and includes sample applications that give developers a starting point for designs. 

The Connect stack supports point-to-point, star and extended star network topologies; many combinations of radio modulation, frequencies and data rates; all MAC layer functions such as scanning, network forming and joining; multiple devices types; and encryption and authentication of data packets.

Samples of multiband Wireless Gecko SoCs are available now in 5 mm x 5 mm QFN32 and 7 mm x 7 mm QFN48 packages; production quantities are planned for the third quarter of 2016. USD pricing in 100,000-unit quantities begins at $2.98 for multiband Mighty Gecko SoCs; $2.74 for multiband Blue Gecko SoCs; $2.70 for multiband Flex Gecko SoCs; and $2.05 for sub-GHz Flex Gecko SoCs. 

The Mighty Gecko Mesh Development Kit is priced at $499. The Blue Gecko Starter Kit is priced at $99. The Flex Gecko Wireless Starter Kits are priced at $276 each. Multiband radio boards that plug into the Wireless Gecko starter kit main boards are priced at $49 each. (All kits USD MSRP).

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About the author: RICHARD HARRIS, Executive Editor

As the Publisher and Editor for App Developer Magazine, Richard has several industry recognitions and endorsements from tech companies such as Microsoft, Apple and Google for accomplishments in the mobile market. He was part of the early Google AFMA program, and also involved in the foundation of Google TV. He has been developing for mobile since 2003 and serves as CEO of Moonbeam Development, a mobile app company with 200 published titles in various markets throughout the world. Richard is also the founder of LunarAds, a mobile cross-promotion and self-serv mediation network for developers. He has been a featured presenter at trade-shows and conferences, and stays active with new projects relating to mobile development.

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