$9 Ebyte E180-ZG120B-TB Zigbee 3.0 Evaluation Board Features Silicon Labs EFR32MG1B Zigbee/Thread SoC

Ebyte E180-ZG120B-TB is a Zigbee 3.0 evaluation/development board based on the company’s E180-ZG120B module itself powered by Silicon Labs EFR32MG1B Series 1 Zigbee/Thread Arm Cortex-M4 SoC.

Ebyte E180-ZG120B-TB specifications:

  • Zigbee Module – Ebyte E180-ZG120B powered by Silabs EFR32MG1B Arm Cortex-M4 @ 40 MHz with 256 KB flash, 32KB SRAM; IPEX antenna connector; dimensions: 18 x 11.5mm
  • Connectivity
    • 2.4GHz Zigbee 3.0 & Thread
    • Tx Power: 18 to 20dBm
    • Range up to 1.3 km
  • USB – 1x Micro USB port for power and programming via CP2102G serial chip
  • Expansion
    • 2x 14-pin headers plus 9-pin header giving access to module I/Os including GPIO, UART, PWM, ADC, TouchLink, Wake, RESET, DBG, 3.3V, and GND
    • 6-pin header for power, 1x UART for CP2102G, 1x UART for module; Fitted with 3 jumpers by default to connect both Tx/Rx, as well as 3.3V power pins. Removing the jumper should allow you to connect directly to the module, and/or power it with your own 3.3V supply instead of relying on the built-in LDO.
  • Misc – 4x buttons: Baud rate reset, mode change, touch link, and “some Chinese characters”
  • Power Supply – 5V via USB port (3.3V LDO output), 3.3V via header
  • Dimensions – 55x30mm

There’s little information about the firmware in the product pages for the module and test kit, although it’s supposed to be compatible with ZHA & ZLL (TouchLink) protocols, but a commenter in Github mentions it’s using a proprietary firmware:

Ebyte E180-ZG120A(B) is a Serial port transparent transmission module, running Ebyte private firmware,not EZSP. (However, it can act as a standard ZigBee3.0 router in the Network)

… the moudule (sic) running a Ebyte offical firmware cant’t act as a standard coordinator like CC2652R, while it can connect your serial device to ZigBee network easily.

EZSP refers to Silicon Labs’ “EmberZNet Serial Protocol“. The comment was made to answer a request to add support for Silicon Labs EFR32MG1 Series 1 Module, including Ebyte module and evaluation kit, to zigbee-herdsman open-source ZigBee gateway solution into order to eventually get support into zigbee2mqtt and/or Home Assistant’s ZHA. But based on comments in this thread, it’s not trivial and unlikely to happen.

If you’d like to give the board a try, Ebyte E180-ZG120B-TB is sold for around $9 on Aliexpress and a bit more on eBay UK. The module itself is sold for $6.88, and there’s also an “RS232 ZigBee3.0 Serial Data Transparent Transceiver” with a case, antenna connector, and serial terminal block sold for $23.24 including shipping..

Thanks to Hedda for the tip.

Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.

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Hedda
Hedda
4 months ago

zigbee-herdsman getting support for it would mean it would work in both Zigbee2mqtt and IoBroker.

Home Assistant’s ZHA, however, depends on zigpy so it would have to be added to bellows for zigpy:

https://github.com/zigpy/bellows/issues/243

zigpy is a python Zigbee stack library which supports multiple adapters from different manufacturer.

https://github.com/zigpy/zigpy/

PS: Ebyte E180-ZG120B is based on same type of EFR32MG1 SoC used in the new Sonoff ZBBridge

John S.
John S.
4 months ago

> PS: Ebyte E180-ZG120B is based on same type of EFR32MG1 SoC used in the new Sonoff ZBBridge I think the Sonoff has a EFR32MG1 “Series 2”, which appears to be fairly unrelated (e.g. Cortex M33 vs M4, different availabilities of RAM and FLASH sizes (and different timing on the flash), different SDKs and radio blobs, different peripherals, different pinouts)? I don’t understand why SiLabs would want to muddy the waters so much with their naming system, surely they haven’t run out of letters and numbers to use in the first 8 characters of their product ids that they need… Read more »

Andreas
Andreas
4 months ago

I believe all EFR32 series use same the SDK and all Zigbee EFR32 regardless has the same API for integration, newer models might only use a newer version of the APIs so just be that need slight update for new features or functions

Hedda
Hedda
4 months ago

I think that Series 1 is called EFR32MG1 (EFR32MG1x), while Series 2 is called EFR32MG2(EFR32MG2x).

Models under that then have a number like EFR32MG12 (Series 1) or EFR32MG21 (Series 2)

So any SoC with EFR32MG1 then numbers is Series 1, and any with EFR32MG2 then numbers is Series 2.

dgp
dgp
4 months ago

I would worry about the closed firmware on these things.. their LoRa DTU firmware wasn’t very good (https://github.com/fifteenhex/ebyterfmodulefuntime/blob/master/crypto.txt)

Hedda
Hedda
4 months ago

The E180-ZG120B contain a EFR32MG1 (Series 1) SoC, specifically the IC = EFR32MG1B232F256GM48
To build a firmware with Silabs Simplicity Studio SDK need a license that comes with buying an official devkit:
https://www.silabs.com/products/development-tools/wireless/mesh-networking/mighty-gecko-starter-kit

Andreas
Andreas
4 months ago

Someone has now posted a Zigbee coordinator firmware to https://github.com/Koenkk/zigbee-herdsman/issues/168#issuecomment-620476746

Drone
Drone
4 months ago

I’m a big fan of SiLabs with respect to their cutting-edge stand-alone RF and (especially) Clock Generation products. I’m on the fence with their serial bus bridge products ( mostly 8051-based). But when it comes to tool-chains and licenses for their more complex products like this Zigbee thing – Poof – I’m gone. Way too restrictive and costly.

Andreas
Andreas
4 months ago

Itead said that they will be using Silabs Zigbee chips in all thier upcoming Sonoff products because they cost less than the competition, so starting with the new Sonoff Zigbee bridge all Itead Zigbee products from now on will be based on chips from Silicon Labs

Hedda
Hedda
15 hours ago

Any tips on SWD flashing a standard Silabs bootloader FW on Ebyte E180-ZG120B-TB evaluation board and E180-ZG120B module?

https://github.com/zha-ng/EZSP-Firmware/issues/2

Trying to gather information in that GitHub repository where both a standard Gecko Bootloader firmware and standard EmberZNet NCP application firmware with EZSP serial API is available.

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