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Silicon Labs roll out wireless, power-saving SoC family

Posted: 24 Feb 2016     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:SoCs  bluetooth  wireless SoCs 

Silicon and software manufacturer Silicon Labs has revealed its new Blue Gecko wireless SoC family with an output power scaling up to +19.5 dBm. A part of Silicon Labs' multi-protocol Wireless Gecko portfolio, the EFR32BG SoC family offers energy efficiency and functional design for Bluetooth Smart applications.

With supported development tools and software, the new family of SoCs simplifies adding Bluetooth Smart to an array of applications including the connected home, wearables, remote controls, baby monitors, beacons, electronic shelf labels, health and fitness devices, and point of sale equipment.

The new Blue Gecko SoCs round out Silicon Labs' Blue Gecko portfolio, a set of hardware/software solutions available for Bluetooth Smart 4.2-ready development. In addition to the wireless SoCs, the portfolio includes pre-certified wireless modules, the company's Bluetooth Smart software stack and a software development kit (SDK). Customers who want to optimise their bill of materials (BOM) and R&D costs can begin designing with a Blue Gecko module for faster time to market, and then migrate to a cost-efficient SoC-based design with minimal system redesign and software reuse.

Blue Gecko SoCs offer -94 dBm sensitivity and output power, scaling from -30 dBm up to +19.5 dBm—the maximum transmit power allowed for Bluetooth-certified end products. The SoCs achieve this wireless performance with simplified design, BOM cost and board space with an integrated balun and a software-programmable power amplifier (PA) that enables Bluetooth Smart products to deliver battery life regardless of the chosen output power.

Blue Gecko SoC Product Highlights

  • Single-die SoC combining Gecko MCU technology with a 2.4GHz RF transceiver
  • Multiprotocol support for Bluetooth Smart and proprietary 2.4GHz protocols
  • Energy-efficient Bluetooth Smart SoCs consumes 8.7 mA in peak receive mode and 8.8 mA @ 0 dBm in peak transmit mode
  • 40MHz ARM Cortex-M4 processor with floating point and DSP capabilities
  • Energy-friendly Gecko MCU consumes only 63µA/MHz in active mode
  • Integrated hardware cryptographic accelerator enabling autonomous encryption and decryption of Internet security protocols with minimal CPU intervention
  • Support for algorithms such as AES with 128- or 256bit keys, elliptical curve cryptography (ECC), SHA-1 and SHA-224/256
  • Flexible options with choice of output power, package configurations (QFN32, QFN48) and memory sizes (128-256 kB flash, 16-32 kB RAM)

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