Amazon has signed up a range of technology suppliers for software development kits for its Sidewalk technology for the Internet of Things.
Kits are available from Nordic Semiconductor, Silicon Labs and Texas Instruments as well as a hardware module using low power wide area networking (LPWAN) from Semtech.
Amazon Sidewalk is a secure, low-bandwidth, long-range network designed to connect the next billion devices and coverage now extends to 90% of the US population using the Ring doorbells and Alexa smart speakers. It has two major variants: one shorter range that targets applications within the home and uses license-free 2.4 GHz Bluetooth LE. The other longer range variant targets applications outside the home and uses the license-free sub-GHz industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM) frequency band.
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An LGA module measuring 15mm × 15mm × 2.25mm from Quectel allows persistent connectivity to devices that are outside of the range of typical home IoT networks. The KG100S module and a portfolio of matching antennas use were developed specially to support Amazon Sidewalk applications with a Semtech SX1262 transceiver supporting LoRa and FSK and a Silicon Labs EFR32BG21B microcontroller with a 2.4GHz radio transceiver for Bluetooth Low Energy 5.1 and 80MHz ARM Cortex-M33 microcontroller core.
The kits are intended to make it easier for developers to integrate the low power wide area network (LPWAN) LoRa technology into new and existing devices and services using the Sidewalk technology, initially in the US.
One of those kits is Nordic’s nRF52840 Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) System-on-Chip (SoC) and nRF Connect SDK.
“Amazon Sidewalk is a really promising development in consumer-targeted wireless IoT,” says Finn Boetius, Product Marketing Engineer at Nordic Semiconductor. “By upgrading its near ubiquitous existing infrastructure in the U.S. of deployed Amazon Echo and Ring devices, Amazon has taken a unique opportunity here to further expand the application range and market potential of wireless IoT. This includes using Bluetooth to make it super easy for consumers to add Amazon Sidewalk devices to their network using their smartphones.”
There is also a development kit from Texas Instruments, the SimpleLink multiband CC1352P7 wireless MCU LaunchPad.
“The ever-evolving innovation in wireless connectivity technology for homes, buildings, neighborhoods, and even entire cities brings new efficiencies to our daily life, but with more products coming online, we must remain ahead of problems in network congestion, power consumption and security,” said Marian Kost, Vice President and General Manager of Connectivity at Texas Instruments.
“With TI’s scalable portfolio of Sub-1 GHz and 2.4 GHz devices supporting the Amazon Sidewalk protocol, it has never been easier to connect any embedded system wirelessly to the cloud and benefit from our industry leading RF performance and low-power technology. TI enables Amazon Sidewalk to bring more sustainability, security and quality into neighbourhoods.”
Free test kits are available for developers to validate the breadth of Sidewalk coverage for themselves as they build Sidewalk devices and connect to the AWS IoT Core.
“We’ve rapidly built out a long-range, low-bandwidth network that now covers more than 90% of the U.S. population, and this is an open invitation for developers to put it to the test,” said Dave Limp, senior vice president of Amazon Devices & Services.
“Many types of connected devices have been limited by the range of Wi-Fi and the cost of cellular technology, which has hindered the ability to connect devices like environmental sensors, leak detectors, and smart locks. Sidewalk is designed to provide a secure, low-cost way to invent and connect a whole new range of devices, and we can’t wait to see what developers build.”
Developers within Sidewalk’s coverage area can instantly connect a qualified silicon provider’s developer kit to the cloud without deploying their own network infrastructure. This also means developers’ customers can seamlessly add new Sidewalk-enabled devices without installing new apps or providing new passwords to connect their devices to Sidewalk. New tools and features available to developers include:
A Mobile SDK for iOS and Android devices on GitHub is designed to speed up the integration of Sidewalk technology into developers’ mobile apps. Amazon also offers a Tools App for developers to debug and troubleshoot designs in the field.
AWS IoT Core lets developers access and configure their Sidewalk-enabled devices via an easy-to-use web interface and offers a broad range of AWS services developers are already familiar with. With AWS IoT Core for Amazon Sidewalk, device registration for the development kits is as simple as turning on the device, simplifying the onboarding experience for developers.
“The integration of AWS IoT Core and Amazon Sidewalk marks a significant milestone for developers, manufacturers, and customers, streamlining the design, connection, and deployment of Amazon Sidewalk based IoT solutions,” said Yasser Alsaied, vice president of IoT at Amazon Web Services. “Now, with AWS IoT Core for Amazon Sidewalk, developers can access more than 200 AWS services to build scalable solutions on top of a highly reliable, secure, and free-to-connect wireless network.”
Developers can request their test kit here and access the software, source code, scripts, and documentation needed to connect devices to Sidewalk, providing AWS reference code that helps developers rapidly prototype solutions.