Smart home reference designs for connected-device developers

Smart home reference designs for connected-device developers

New Products |
By Graham Prophet

The FCC and UL-pre-certified reference designs include all of the hardware, firmware and software tools required to create connected home products based on Silicon Labs’ ZigBee “Golden Unit” Home Automation (HA 1.2) software stack and multiprotocol Wireless Gecko system-on-chip (SoC) range.


The reference designs help home automation device makers and developers reduce system cost and complexity with ZigBee mesh networking technology. Designers can access pre-certified wireless technology, open-source hardware design files and industry-standard software stacks that come with test setups and manufacturing methods.


The occupancy sensor reference design is a pre-certified ZigBee HA 1.2 solution featuring a wirelessly connected passive infrared sensor along with ambient light and temperature/relative humidity sensors from Silicon Labs. The occupancy sensor’s small, battery-powered design (the size of two AAA batteries) can operate for up to five years before battery replacement. The sensor’s detection range extends up to 12 metres with a 90 degree viewing window.


The smart outlet reference design is a complete, pre-certified solution for a wirelessly controlled outlet plug that can be used to power and control a range of home and building automation products. Powered by an ac main-voltage line, the smart outlet communicates wirelessly to ZigBee mesh networks. The smart outlet design includes; built-in diagnostics and metering with a user-friendly web interface for wireless control and current/voltage monitoring, accessible from mobile devices; wide AC voltage range (110-240V) for global use along with a 15A load current; integrated high-accuracy sensors for ambient light and temperature/humidity; and a 6.5 x 6.5 x 4.0 cm outline.


Both reference designs include Silicon Labs’ EFR32MG Mighty Gecko SoC, providing multiprotocol wireless connectivity. The Mighty Gecko SoC’s energy-efficient architecture combines a high-performance ARM Cortex-M4 processor with a 2.4 GHz transceiver featuring an integrated power amplifier and balun and capable of +19.5 dBm output power for low-power wireless range.


Mighty Gecko SoCs run Silicon Labs’ Golden Unit ZigBee PRO-certified software stack and ZigBee HA 1.2-certified applications, enabling connected devices to reliably join, interoperate and leave a mesh network, as well as scale from a few to hundreds of nodes on the same network without costly rewiring of existing systems.


Since both reference designs use Silicon Labs’ multiprotocol Wireless Gecko technology, developers can future-proof their home automation designs to support ZigBee today and IP-based Thread networks tomorrow. The Thread-ready reference designs easily accommodate over-the-air ZigBee updates as well as future-proofing upgrades to Silicon Labs’ Thread stack.


The reference designs require Silicon Labs’ ZigBee gateway or an HA 1.2-compliant gateway. System configuration, debugging, low-energy optimization and software application modifications are supported by Silicon Labs’ Simplicity Studio development tools, which developers can download free of charge.


The RD-0078-0201 occupancy sensor reference design is priced at $49, and the RD-0051-0201 smart outlet reference design is priced at $119.


Silicon Labs;




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