Silicon Labs WF200 WiFi Transceivers & WFM200 WiFi Modules are Designed for Battery Powered Devices

When it comes to power consumption, WiFi is not the best wireless standard around, and even the most power efficient WiFi SoCs/modules consume several times the power required for Bluetooth LE Tx or Rx. Yet we still have plenty of battery powered devices relying on WiFi, so companies are working on improving efficiency, and Silicon Labs has recently announced the WF200 transceivers and WFM200 modules that support 2.4 GHz 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and are said to slash power consumption in half. WF200 / WFM200 highlights: Low transmit (Tx: 138 mA) and receive (Rx: 48 mA) power 200 µA average Wi-Fi power consumption (DTIM = 3) Link budget of 115 dBm for long-range Wi-Fi transmissions Excellent antenna diversity and wireless coexistence in crowded 2.4 GHz environments Security – Secure boot and host interface, hardware cryptography acceleration supporting AES, PKE and TRNG Packages – 4 mm x 4 mm QFN32 transceiver and 6.5 mm x 6.5 mm LGA52 SiP module Certifications – …

Tomu Arm Board Fits into a USB Connector, Adds Buttons, Two Factor Authentication to Your Computer (Crowdfunding)

We’ve covered many boards that claim to be the world’s smallest development board, and Tomu board does not claim anything like that, but it’s pretty small, as it’s made to fit into your computer’s USB board. It may be cool, but it could also potentially be useful, as the board exposes two (capacitive touch?) buttons, and two LEDs so you can use it as a computer accessory for example to add volume buttons, or as a Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) token supporting two-factor authentication (2FA) to login to compatible online services. Tomu board hardware specifications: MCU – Silicon Labs Happy Gecko EFM32HG309 ARM Cortex-M0+ up to 25 MHz with 64KB flash, 8KB RAM USB – 1x USB 2.0 FS port Misc – 2x buttons, 2x LEDs: 2 (red + green) Dimensions – 1.4mm thick (0.6mm thick PCB) Singapore based Sutajio Ko-usagi – the company behind the project – provides the hardware designs files (KiCAD + gerber), and source code for …

Silicon Labs Introduces $29 Thunderboard React Bluetooth 4.2 LE IoT Board and $69 Derby Car Kit

Earlier this summer, Silicon labs launched ThunderBoard React, a Bluetooth 4.2 LE compliant board with sensors and expansion headers for IoT applications based on the company’s BGM111 Bluetooth Smart Module, and to make it much more fun to work with the company has released a Derby Car kit controlled by the board. ThunderBoard React specifications: Bluetooth Module – BGM111 Bluetooth 4.2 compliant module with integrated Tx and Rx antenna, and Cortex M4 MCU @ 38.4 MHz with 32 kB RAM and 256 kB Flash Extra Storage – Footprint for 8Mb external flash storage Sensors – Si7021 relative humidity and temperature, Si1133 UV index and ambient light sensor, Invensense MPU-6500 6-axis gyro/accelerometer, Si7201 hall effect position sensor Expansion – 12 breakout pina to connect to BGM111 GPIOs Debugging – 10-pin mini Simplicity debug connector Misc – 2x momentary buttons, 2x LEDs, power selection switch Power Supply – CR2032 coin cell battery slot or external power (Vext) Dimensions – 44 x 25 …

SiLabs Wireless Gecko SoCs Support Bluetooth 4.2, Zigbee, Thread, and 2.4GHz Proprietary Protocols

Silicon Labs has introduced three new Wireless SoC families with Blue Gecko for Bluetooth Smart, Mighty Gecko for Thread & Zigbee, and Flex Gecko for proprietary 2.4 GHz protocols. All three families provides up to 19.5 dBm output power & hardware cryptography, and are pin-to-pin and software compatible. SiLabs Wireless Gecko SoC highlights: MCU Core – ARM Cortex-M4 @ 40 MHz with FPU, up to 256 KB flash, and up to 32KB SRAM. Mighty Gecko also adds a DSP Peripherals AES256/128 Hardware Crypto Accelerator ADC (12-bit, 1 Msps, 286 µA) Current DAC (4-bit, Current Source or Sink) 2x Analog Comparator Low Energy UART 2x USART (UART, SPI, IrDA, I2S) I2C (Address recognition down to EM3) Timers : RTCC, LE Timer & Pulse Counter 12-channel Peripheral Reflex System Up to 31 GPIO EFR32BG Blue Gecko Family Bluetooth Smart (Bluetooth Low Energy or “BLE”) 4.2 specification as well as proprietary wireless protocols Supported by Silicon Labs’ Bluetooth Smart software stack and BGScript …

Thunderboard Wear is a $75 Smartwatch Development Board by Silicon Labs

A few days ago I watched an ARMDevices.net’s video about an ARM’s smartwatch reference design running mbed OS 3.0, powered by a Silicon Labs EFM32 Giant Gecko Cortex M3 MCU, and promising up to 2 months battery life on a 160 mAh battery. While I could not find the full details about the reference design, I noticed Silicon Labs also launched a development board called Thunderboard Wear, based on the same platform, just quite bigger, and still wearable… (Sort of) Thunderboard Wear specifications: MCU – Silicon Labs EFM32GG995F1024 ARM Cortex-M3 MCU up to 48 MHz with 128 kB RAM,1 MB Flash External Memory – 256 kB external SRAM External Storage – micro SD card slot Display – 128×128 pixel Memory LCD from Sharp Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.1 smart module (Silicon Labs BGM111), upgradeable to Bluetooth 4.2 Sensors Ambient Light Sensing (ALS) and Proximity/Gesture via Silicon Labs Si1141. Optical hear-rate monitoring (HRM) via Silicon Labs Si1144 9-axis accel/gyro/magnetometer Bosch USB – …

Weightless Development Kits are Finally Available (Sort of)

The first version of the Weightless standard aiming at lowering cost of IoT communications was published in 2013, but so far development kits were nowhere to be found. Nwave has now launched a Weightless-N SDK using sub-GHz spectrum, but not the white space spectrum used by Weightless-W, probably due to regulatory hurdles. Specifications and features of Nwave development board: MCU – Silicon Labs EFM32G210F128 ARM Cortex M3 MCU @ 32 MHz with 128KB flash, 16KB SRAM Connectivity – RM3 radio module (868MHz) and antenna connector (X3) USB – X1 USB port for connection to PC or UART interface, X2 micro USB port Debugging – UART, and 10-pin JTAG connector (X4) Expansion header – 16 through holes for GND, 3.3V, GPIOs, ADC, Timers output, I2C, etc… (X5) Misc – Three Jumpers for UART and other selections (TBD), reset buttons for USB ports? Power – 5V via USB ? Dimensions – N/A I could not find any details about RM3 radio module, …

Thread is a New IP-based Wireless Protocol Leveraging 6LoWPAN and 802.15.4 Standards

Wi-Fi is a neat way to connect devices to Internet, but it has two main inconveniences: relatively high cost and power consumption. Luckily there are standards that addresses the cost and power consumption issues. Radio chips based on IEEE 802.15.4, a standard which specifies the physical layer and media access control for low-rate wireless personal area networks, are common place and found in many existing devices relying on higher level wireless protocols such as ZigBee, ISA100.11a, WirelessHART, and MiWi. AFAIK, Zigbee is the most popular of the aforementioned protocols, but is hindered by the requirements of the license for commercial products (annual fee), Zigbee membership requirements conflict with many open source license such as GPL, and the standard suffers from lack of interoperability and IPv6 support, and power requirements that are too high for some applications. So a consortium of seven companies namely ARM, Big Ass Fans, Freescale, Nest, Samsung, Silicon Labs, and Yale Security, have come together to start …

Silicon Labs Unveils EFM32 Zero Gecko MCU Family Based on ARM Cortex M0+

Silicon Labs, who bought Energy Micro earlier this year, has recently introduced a new family of 32-bit MCU based on ARM Cortex M0+ called EFM32 Zero Gecko, as well as the corresponding starter kit. These ultra low power MCUs (currently 16 products) are destined to be used in  IoT applications such as mobile health and fitness products, smart watches, activity trackers, smart meters, security systems and wireless sensor nodes, as well as battery-less systems powered by harvested energy. The key features of this family include: ARM Cortex-M0+ core @ 24 MHz 4kb to 32 kB flash and 2kb to 4 kB RAM memory 17 to 37 GPIO Single 1.85–3.8 V power supply 5 Power modes Hardware AES (Some models only) -40° to 85 °C operation range Package options: QFN24, QFN32 and QFN48 EFM32ZG222F32, the Zero Gecko MCU with the most memory and features, has the following specifications: ARM Cortex-M0+ CPU platform @ up to 24 MHz with Wake-up Interrupt Controller …