Wireless SoCs support ZigBee, Thread, Bluetooth Smart and Proprietary protocols

February 24, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
Silicon Labs' Wireless Gecko portfolio of multiprotocol system-on-chip (SoC) devices gives flexible connectivity and price/performance options for Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Wireless Gecko SoCs integrate an ARM Cortex-M4 core, energy-friendly Gecko technology, a 2.4 GHz radio with up to 19.5 dBm output power, and advanced hardware cryptography.

Wireless Gecko SoCs are designed to speed wireless design with Thread and ZigBee stacks for mesh networks, intuitive radio interface software for proprietary protocols, Bluetooth Smart for point-to-point connectivity, and Simplicity Studio tools to simplify wireless development, configuration, debugging and low-energy design.

The Wireless Gecko portfolio features three families of multiprotocol SoCs optimised for real-world IoT use cases and the most popular wireless protocols:

· Blue Gecko family - Bluetooth Smart connectivity with highest output power and range

· Mighty Gecko family - ZigBee and Thread connectivity for mesh networks

· Flex Gecko family - Flexible proprietary wireless protocol options for diverse applications

"The Wireless Gecko portfolio provides customers with a much-needed one-stop-shop approach to multiprotocol IoT connectivity with flexible cost/performance options supported by best-in-class software stacks and a common development environment that greatly simplifies wireless design," said Daniel Cooley, vice president of marketing for IoT products at Silicon Labs.

Pin- and software-compatible Wireless Gecko families enable customers to build on their development tool and software investments. Developers can select the wireless protocol to meet their application needs today and can migrate to other protocols within the portfolio with the assurance of hardware/software reuse. Wireless Gecko SoCs combine Silicon Labs' energy-friendly Gecko MCU technology with a multiprotocol 2.4 GHz RF transceiver in a single-die solution with scalable memory options (up to 256 kB flash and up to 32 kB RAM). Gecko technology includes well-architected energy modes, ultra-fast wake-up/sleep transitions, and the Peripheral Reflex System (PRS), enabling autonomous operation of low-power peripherals while the MCU core sleeps. Based on an ARM Cortex-M4 processor with floating point and DSP capabilities, the Gecko MCU consumes only 63 µA/MHz in active mode. The Wireless Gecko SoCs also integrate a software-programmable power amplifier (PA) and balun to reduce bill of materials (BOM) cost and design complexity while providing scalable output power ranging from -30 dBm up to +19.5 dBm for applications requiring long-range connectivity.

"Low-power