Silicon Labs

Efficient Wireless SoC Built for Energy-Harvesting Apps

April 24, 2024
The xG22E family of wireless SoCs from Silicon Labs is its first family designed for battery-free, energy-harvesting applications.

What you'll learn:

  • How Silicon Labs’ latest wireless SoCs address energy-harvesting applications.
  • The partnership between Silicon Labs and e-peas on energy harvesting.
  • The emergence of connected devices primarily powered from ambient sources.

Silicon Labs recently unveiled the xG22E family of wireless SoCs, its first-ever family designed specifically for the ultra-low-power envelope where battery-free, energy-harvesting applications function. The BG22E, MG22E, and FG22E are the company’s most energy-efficient SoCs to date.

The devices enable the creation of advanced Bluetooth Low Energy, 802.15.4-based, or sub-GHz wireless devices for devices able to harvest energy from external sources in their environments. Such ambient energy could come from indoor or outdoor lighting, radio waves, and/or kinetic motion.

Silicon Labs Teams with e-peas on Energy-Harvesting Shields

To aid developers in creating a complete energy-harvesting solution, Silicon Labs is partnering with e-peas to release energy-harvesting shields for Silicon Labs’ energy-optimized xG22E Explorer Kit.

The Explorer Kit makes it possible to optimize peripherals and debugging options to best match the application, with highly accurate measurements to better build application solutions and devices. The energy-harvesting shields each target different energy sources and energy-storage technologies, and are custom-fit to slot onto the Explorer Kit. 

One of the shields uses e-peas’ latest AEM13920 dual-harvester, enabling it to pull energy from two distinct energy sources at the same time, like indoor or outdoor light, thermal gradients, and electromagnetic waves, without sacrificing energy-conversion efficiency. The second co-developed shield leverages e-peas’ AEM00300 shield to harvest power from random pulsed energy sources.

Energy-Conserving Features of the xG22E Family

The xG22E family offers several features designed to minimize energy use, including ultra-fast, low-energy cold start for applications starting from a zero-energy state to quickly wake up and then rapidly return to sleep. An xG22E device wakes up in 8 ms using only 150 μJ. Deep sleep and swift wake-up reduces energy consumption by up to 78% compared to other legacy solutions.

A power-efficient energy mode enables a smooth transition in and out of energy modes by mitigating current spikes or inrush, which can harm energy storage capacity. In addition, multiple deep-sleep wake-up options, such as RFSense, GPIO, and RTC wake-up sources from deep EM4 sleep mode, are well-suited for extended storage.

Read more articles in the TechXchange: The Internet of Things.

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