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Silicon Labs looks to advance IoT Connectivity with latest wireless software

Silicon Labs has released multiprotocol software for its Wireless Gecko system-on-chip (SoC) and module portfolio, that will enable simultaneous operation of Zigbee and Bluetooth low energy (LE) on a single SoC bringing together the key application benefits of both protocols.

This software enables advanced functionality for Internet of Things (IoT) applications without incurring the complexity and hardware cost of a two-chip architecture, reducing the wireless subsystem bill-of-materials (BOM) cost and size by up to 40 percent.

Dynamic multiprotocol software allows users to commission, update, control and monitor Zigbee mesh networks directly over Bluetooth with smartphone apps. The software also makes it easier to deploy scalable indoor location-based service infrastructure by extending Zigbee-based connected lighting and building automation systems with Bluetooth beacons.

By adding Bluetooth LE features to Zigbee mesh networks, developers can create next-generation IoT applications that are much easier to deploy, use and update.

Examples of applications that could benefit from Silicon Labs’ multiprotocol software include:

• Smart Home – IoT products can connect to popular home automation platforms and voice assistants that support Zigbee while also supporting direct connectivity to smartphones for simple setup and local control and monitoring. For example, a connected door lock can be remotely accessed via the mesh network and unlocked locally via a smartphone app. Bluetooth beacons that include location can be used to enhance smartphone apps and provide additional context for automation applications.

• Smart Building – Commercial building automation systems powered by Zigbee can be extended, enabling employee interaction using Bluetooth enabled smartphones, tablets or smart tags. For example, connected HVAC systems can automatically adjust based on occupancy or user preferences set in employee profiles.

Silicon Labs’ multiprotocol wireless technology simplifies the implementation of beacon infrastructure and transforms buildings into connected, intelligent spaces.

The multiprotocol software is powered by highly optimised wireless protocol stacks and an advanced radio scheduler running on Micrium OS. The software development kit (SDK) is available in Simplicity Studio and includes a connected lighting demo supported on selected Wireless Gecko starter kits and mobile app reference designs.

Author
Neil Tyler

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