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Multiband wireless SoCs simplify IoT device design

Multiband wireless SoCs simplify IoT device design

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By Rich Pell



Claiming an industry first, multiband wireless Gecko SoCs enable developers to use the same multiprotocol device for operation in 2.4 GHz and multiple sub-GHz bands, simplifying connected device designs, reducing cost and complexity, and speeding time to market. The SoCs are ideal for IoT connectivity products in application areas such as building and home automation, smart metering, security, health and fitness monitoring, connected lighting, electronic shelf labels and asset tracking.

The multiband 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 flexible architecture enables 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 SoCs also enable developers to future-proof their designs. Next-generation connected device products can embed a combination of protocols such as Bluetooth to commission and configure devices with a smartphone or tablet and sub-GHz protocols to communicate over long-range star networks.

The multiband, multiprotocol Wireless Gecko portfolio features three SoC families optimized for real-world IoT use cases and the most popular wireless protocols:

  • Mighty Gecko family – supports ZigBee, Thread, 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.


“The IoT is a very dynamic market, with new applications, use cases, protocols and frequency band options emerging and driving explosive growth of connected device products,” said Daniel Cooley, senior vice president and general manager of IoT products at Silicon Labs in a statement. “Multiband, multiprotocol Wireless Gecko SoCs meet the needs of today’s fast-changing IoT market by giving developers the flexibility to choose the right standards-based or proprietary wireless technologies and frequency bands for their connected device designs.”

Software stacks and tools
The Simplicity Studio development environment offers an extensive library of software tools and access to protocol stacks to simplify connected device designs. Silicon Labs provides certified, market-proven ZigBee, Thread, and Bluetooth low energy stacks for 2.4-GHz connectivity use cases, as well as new wireless software for proprietary wireless networks. The company’s radio abstraction interface layer (RAIL) software eases the complexity of proprietary development by simplifying radio configuration and enabling developers to migrate their application code across all Wireless Gecko SoCs.

The latest wireless networking software from Silicon Labs is the Connect stack for proprietary applications. Optimized for low-power devices, this full-featured, 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, enabling developers to focus on their applications.

Connect provides software portability across devices and platforms, allows developers to customize stack features, and includes sample applications that give developers a starting point for their designs. The Connect stack supports reliable 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.

www.silabs.com/wirelessgecko

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