Silicon Labs has introduced the next generation of its Wireless Gecko platform, Series 2, designed to make IoT products more powerful, efficient and reliable, delivering a versatile and scalable IoT connectivity platform. Building on the RF and multi-protocol capabilities of the Wireless Gecko portfolio, the initial Series 2 products include small form factor system-on-a-chip (SoC) devices with a dedicated security core and an on-chip radio delivering 2.5x the wireless range of competing solutions.

The first products in the Series 2 portfolio include the

  • EFR32MG21 SoCs, supporting multi-protocol, Zigbee®, Thread and Bluetooth® mesh networking.
  • EFR32BG21 SoCs dedicated to Bluetooth Low Energy and Bluetooth mesh.

Samples and production quantities of the EFR32MG21 and EFR32BG21 SoCs are available now in compact 4 mm x 4 mm QFN32 packages. The Wireless Gecko starter kit mainboard and EFR32xG21 radio boards are also available.

These SoCs provide solutions for line-powered IoT products, including gateways, hubs, lights, voice assistants and smart electric meters. According to Silicon Labs, the Series 2 SoCs provide developers with the following system design advantages:

  • Best-in-class RF performance with +20 dBm output power and up to +124.5 dB link budget.
  • Robust wireless radio with improved blocking performance.
  • Powerful processing with an 80 MHz Arm® Cortex®-M33 core with TrustZone technology.
  • Low active current (50.9 µA/MHz) to meet stringent green energy requirements, a benefit of manufacturing on a low-power 40 nm process technology.
  • Industry’s smallest multi-protocol SoCs in a 4 mm x 4 mm QFN package.
  • Lower BOM count and system cost with fewer matching components and no need for external inductors or power amplifiers.

The EFR32xG21 SoCs provide enhanced security features that enable developers to implement robust security in connected products:

  • Dedicated security core enables faster, lower-power encryption than software techniques.
  • True random number generator strengthens device cryptography.
  • Secure boot loading ensures authenticity of firmware images and over-the-air updates.
  • Secure debug access control helps prevent unauthorized access to end products.

Flexible pre-certified modules based on EFR32xG21 SoCs are planned for release during Q3. Also, Silicon Labs plans future pin- and software-compatible Wireless Gecko Series 2 SoCs and modules with additional dedicated security technologies to enable developers to create connected products with enhanced security features, helping to increase consumer trust and drive mass IoT adoption.

With Series 2, designers can bring secure, next-generation IoT products to market by taking advantage of Silicon Labs’ Simplicity Studio integrated development environment (IDE). The Simplicity Studio IDE accelerates time-to-market with a suite of tools, including a unified wireless development kit, SDKs, energy profiler, patented network analysis, application demos and mobile apps.

IoT developers routinely face product design tradeoffs around wireless range, power consumption, size, security and cost. The Series 2 wireless connectivity portfolio simplifies IoT product design with highly-integrated SoC options and reusable software that make RF communication more dependable and energy efficient. Series 2 helps developers optimize system cost and performance for a wide range of smart home, commercial and industrial IoT (IIoT) applications.

“As the adoption and diversity of IoT devices continue to grow, developers seek flexible connectivity solutions that help them quickly bring differentiated products to market while reducing cost and design complexity. Series 2 improves multiple design elements, including wireless performance, software reuse, RF communication reliability and enhanced security to speed development, deployment and adoption of the IoT.” — Matt Johnson, senior vice president and general manager of IoT products