Dev kit for Apple HomeKit aids smart-home accessory makers

November 30, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
Silicon Labs’ Bluetooth package for Apple HomeKit helps developers reduce project risk and speed time to market, in creation of Apple HomeKit-enabled accessories. Available as a library with clean, easy-to-use APIs, this Bluetooth 4.2 offering with HomeKit support is pre-tested by Apple.

Silicon Labs supports Apple HomeKit development projects with a large portfolio of Wireless Gecko SoCs and modules, Simplicity Studio development tools, plugins for Bluetooth Developer Studio, example accessory applications and source code, an iOS app with source code, documentation and technical support, at


Developing accessories based on the Apple HomeKit protocol and security technology can require multiple interoperability tests. Silicon Labs’ Bluetooth for Apple HomeKit is pre-tested and certified by Apple and has passed certification tests for the HomeKit specification, assisting developers when getting their devices certified by Apple. Silabs adds that developers who use the pre-tested solution will be, “many steps ahead”, along the path for iOS customers to use Siri voice control and the Home app to control their smart home products.


In addition to implementing the capabilities required to develop Apple HomeKit accessories, Silicon Labs’ Bluetooth 4.2-compliant protocol stack supports key features such as LE secure connections for secure Bluetooth pairing, LE packet extensions for higher throughput, and LE dual topology for flexible network configurations and over-the-air (OTA) firmware updates.


Simplicity Studio streamlines IoT design with one-click access to an Eclipse-based IDE, energy profiling, configuration and network analysis tools, demos, software examples, documentation, tech support and community forums. Silicon Labs’ BGScript language simplifies Bluetooth development with a BASIC-like syntax. Simplicity Studio also supports third-party tools such as the Bluetooth SIG’s Bluetooth Developer Studio, which enables developers to auto-generate code for Apple HomeKit accessories.


The core of Silicon Labs’ hardware offering for Apple HomeKit development is the Wireless Gecko SoC portfolio including Blue Gecko SoCs for Bluetooth applications. Silicon Labs also offers several Bluetooth module families including the new ultra-small BGM12x system-in-package (SiP) module. Featuring integrated antennas and regulatory certifications, wireless modules are suitable for developers who want to reduce engineering costs and speed time to market. Silicon Labs also supports designers with development kits including the Thunderboard Sense sensor-to-cloud kit.