First sub-GHz wireless chip with PSA Level 3 security

First sub-GHz wireless chip with PSA Level 3 security

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By Nick Flaherty

Silicon Labs has launched a sub-GHz long range multiprotocol wireless ARM microcontroller family with PSA Level 3 security.

The Series 2 platform includes the EFR32FG23 and EFR32ZG23 system-on-chip (SoC) devices that support Amazon Sidewalk, mioty, Wireless M-Bus, Z-Wave and proprietary IoT networks.

“This new evolution of our Series 2 platform is answering the ever-increasing demands for highly-integrated, long range wireless connectivity to enable cities, industries and homes to operate more efficiently and sustainably,” said Matt Johnson, president of Silicon Labs. “Silicon Labs’ secure, ultra-low-power sub-GHz solutions extend wireless communication beyond one-mile, thus expanding the boundaries for developers who need scalable high-performance wireless to drive the transformative potential of the IoT.”

Silicon Labs designed the FG23 and ZG23 SoCs to enable the next generation of secure IoT products to accelerate sustainability and energy efficiency initiatives including smart grids and building and home automation IoT systems.

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Both devices have a transmit and receive radio power of 13.2 mA TX at 10 dBm, 4.2 mA RX at 920 MHz and +20 dBm RF output power and -125.3 dBm RX at 868 MHz with 2.4 kbps GFSK. This gives IoT end nodes a range of 1+ mile wireless range while operating on a coin cell battery for 10+ years. The devices also use the PSA Level 3 certified Secure Vault to allow developers to safeguard IoT products against software and hardware attacks which can compromise intellectual property.

The chips support th e110-727 MHz and 742-970 MHz bands with modulation support for FSK, GFSK, OQPSK DSSS, MSK, GMSK and OOK. Advanced peripheral features for LCDs, push buttons and low power sensors

The FG23 targets Amazon Sidewalk, industrial IoT (IIoT), smart city, building and home automation markets that often require battery-powered end nodes with extended wireless communication range capabilities. The FG23 wireless SoC solution provides a flexible antenna diversity feature for a wireless link budget of -111.2 dBm RX @ 920 MHz with 50 kbps data using GFSK modulation. The low active current of 26 µA/MHz and sleep mode with 1.2 µA make it suitable for battery-powered field area network nodes, wireless sensors and connected devices in difficult to reach locations.

The ZG23 handles Z-Wave Wireless with Secure Vault and offers the same RF and power performance as FG23. Silicon Labs bought Z-Wave in 2018.

The chips support Z-Wave Long Range and Mesh and are the first SoCs to be optimized for both end devices and gateways and can also support all FG23 protocols. The ZG23 wireless solution targets smart home, hotel and multi-dwelling unit (MDU) markets. Ultra-compact ZG23-based SiP modules (ZGM230S), supporting Z-Wave only, will also be made available to simplify development and speed-time-to-market.

FR32FG23 SoCs in 5 mm x 5 mm QFN40 and 6 mm x 6 mm QFN48 packages are shipping now with FG23 development kits starting at $39.99. EFR32ZG23 SoCs, ZGM230S modules and accompanying kits will be available in Q4 2021.

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