Sub-GHz SoC targets smart cities and long-range uses

Sub-GHz SoC targets smart cities and long-range uses

Business news |
By Jean-Pierre Joosting

Recently Silicon Labs announced a new flagship sub-Ghz SoC, the FG25, for long-range, low-power transmissions. The IC and is now generally available and is ideal for use in Wi-SUN Field Area Network (FAN) applications. A FAN provides a communications infrastructure for very large-scale outdoor networks enabling industrial devices such as smart meters and streetlights to interconnect onto one common network.

The FG25 is the ideal SoC (system on chip) for long-range, low-power transmissions, capable of broadcasting up to 3-km with minimal data loss in dense, urban canyon environments when coupled with the Silicon Labs EFF01 Front End Module. It is also the first SoC in the portfolio to support the orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) modulations introduced in Wi-SUN FAN 1.1 specification. OFDM supports high data bandwidth of up to 3.6 Mbps. With the higher data rates, the FG25 SoC enables the large networks needed by smart cities where the nodes can number in the thousands. Further, large memory footprint and increased IO count allows for design consolidation and when combined with Secure Vault™ can provide higher level system security.

In addition, Silicon Labs has been certified by the Wi-SUN Alliance for the PHY layer of the FAN 1.1 profile. Customers can leverage this certification to lower the burden placed on them as they design Wi-SUN FAN 1.1 compliant devices.

Landis+Gyr adopts FG25 and Wi-SUN for smart meters

Up until now, Landis+Gyr had used the FG12 SoC running their own proprietary stack, but because Wi-SUN is an open network, it offers increased interoperability and simplified development, meaning it can scale to match the massive size of a city. And while the FG12 helped Landis+Gyr drastically reduce power consumption of their devices, it didn’t have the RAM needed for Wi-SUN and OFDM.

By moving to the FG25 Wi-SUN SoC, Landis+Gyr not only increases the performance of their offering, but also gives their customers a smooth Wi-SUN transition because the FG25 runs their proprietary stack as well. With both the MCU and transceiver on the same chip, the FG25 uses the same form factor as Landis+Gyr’s existing module, simplifying the development and design process to integrate the new SoC.

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