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Wireless SoCs Meld Security, Energy Efficiency, and Software Support in IoT Apps

March 3, 2020
These 2.4-GHz wireless devices target power- and size-constrained applications in retail, commercial, and industrial arenas.

Aiming for an optimal combination of security features, 2.4-GHz wireless performance, energy efficiency, and software tools and stacks, Silicon Labs’s EFR32FG22 family of wireless SoCs are intended for size-constrained IoT products powered by batteries or energy-harvesting sources. Based on the company’s Wireless Gecko Series 2 platform, the new SoCs target applications that include electronic shelf labels (ESLs), building security, industrial automation sensors, and custom modules for commercial lighting.

The ESL market is a particularly important one for wireless SoCs of this variety, with a global market of over $581M in 2019 that’s expected to reach $1.8B by 2025 (according to Mordor Intelligence). ESL technology enables cloud-based applications that enhance retail automation, shopper engagement, and data analytics. Most ESL system designs are based on proprietary wireless protocols like that represented by the FG22 devices.

The FG22 integrates a 38.4-MHz Arm Cortex-M33 core with TrustZone and a high-performance radio with a receive sensitivity of −106.4 dBm. The SoCs’ combination of ultra-low transmit and receive power (8.2-mA TX at +6 dBm, 3.6-mA RX) and 1.2-µA power draw in deep-sleep mode delivers exceptional energy efficiency. Additional low-power on-chip features such as RFSense, which wakes the FG22 in the presence of RF energy, further extend the operating life of IoT products with limited battery or energy-harvesting options.

The EFR32FG22 SoCs are expected to start shipping in March 2020 in a choice of 5- × 5-mm QFN40 and 4- × 4-mm QFN32 packages. Plans are the EFR32FG22 SoC starter kit will be available in March, too, with kit pricing starting at $99. Developers can download Simplicity Studio, including development tools and reference software, at no charge.

Silicon Labs,

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