Drop-in module offers simple Thread/ZigBee connectivity

September 29, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
Developing the modules product line the company acquired with its purchase of Telegesis, Silicon Labs is aiming to serve a wider proportion of users who need to add connectivity to designs, with its MGM111 Mighty Gecko Module.

The module comes with Silabs’ wireless software stack, the subject of ‘thousands’ of downloads by designers working at component level with its Gecko wireless MCU products, and software tools to configure connections. Focused on mesh networking applications with support for ZigBee and Thread software, the MGM111 module is Silabs’ first multiprotocol modules based on the Mighty Gecko system-on-chip (SoC) device. The module’s combination of onboard stacks, ‘many variations’ in antenna configurations, and RF regulatory certifications simplifies the developer’s task in setting up networking applications including home and building automation, connected lighting, smart metering, security systems and other IoT platforms.


The objective is to bring mesh networking products to market quickly and easily with minimal engineering and certification costs; Mighty Gecko modules and wireless SoCs have similar technical features and application programming interfaces (APIs), offering a cost-reduction path for designs that move to high volume.


The MGM111 module combines a 2.4 GHz Mighty Gecko SoC, high-efficiency chip antenna, crystals, and RF matching and shielding into a complete, ready-to-use mesh networking module supporting ZigBee and Thread protocol stacks. This high level of integration frees developers from complex RF/antenna design and testing. The MGM111 module complies with the IEEE 802.15.4 standard used in ZigBee and Thread stacks and will be pre-certified for compliance with the following regulatory requirements: FCC (North America), IC (Canada), CE (Europe), RCM (AU/NZ) and KC (Korea). Silabs is a member of both the ZigBee Alliance and the Thread Group.


The MGM111 module comes in a 12.9 x 15 mm package that is footprint- and pin-compatible with Silicon Labs’ BGM111 Blue Gecko module supporting Bluetooth low energy technology. This compatibility eases migration and enables developers to support multiple wireless protocols with a common, future-proven system design. The MGM111 module is supported by Silicon Labs’ Simplicity Studio development platform. Simplicity Studio tools include AppBuilder, allowing developers to configure wireless applications while ensuring software reuse across designs based on Wireless Gecko technology; Network Analyzer, providing full visibility and debugging of wireless networking activity by using the module’s packet trace port; and Energy Profiler, enabling developers to minimize the energy consumption of their code and extend battery life.


Silicon Labs; www.silabs.com/mightygeckomodule


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