Silicon Labs Bluetooth Low Energy Devices Now Support 5.4

06/12/2023 | Arnold Kalvach | 2 Min Read

The release of Bluetooth® 5.4 earlier this year was met with a lot of excitement. Two features in particular, Periodic Advertising with Responses (PAwR) and Encrypted Advertising Data (EAD), have been enthusiastically received by the growing Electronic Shelf Label (ESL) market. In fact, annual Bluetooth ESL shipments are expected to be in excess of 334 million units by the end of 2027.



PAwR will allow the implementation of a time-synchronized star network with bi-directional communication using an enhanced Periodic Advertisement with a Response feature. This feature adds the capability for devices that receive data from a periodic advertiser to respond to the transmitter of the periodic advertiser. Additionally, devices can be allocated to groups, allowing them to listen only to their group's transmissions. The key benefit of this feature is the capability to support massive-sized star network implementations powerfully and efficiently. 

EAD adds the ability to encrypt advertising data. Encrypted advertisement data can be received by any device but can only be decrypted and authenticated by devices that have previously shared the session key. The significant benefit of this feature is that it allows for the encryption of data shared over periodic advertisement with responses. 

PAwR supports powerful and efficient large-scale star network implementations and EAD adds the ability to encrypt advertising data. Encrypted advertisement data can be received by any device but can only be decrypted and authenticated by devices that have previously shared the session key.

ESLs are small, battery-powered e-paper displays that replace paper labels to present product and pricing information at the shelf edge and use wireless technology to communicate with a central hub to create a dynamic pricing automation network. This presents massive opportunities to gain efficiencies and save time, and retailers of all sizes have been anticipating this feature. The combination of PAwR and EAD makes Bluetooth 5.4 an important milestone for ESL developers and provides a standards-based solution that will make it easier for retailers to invest in retail automation. Silicon Labs’ full range of low-power, high-performance Bluetooth SoCs and modules support the latest version.

Below are the ways in which our portfolio supports Bluetooth 5.4 features: 

  • Our BG21 is targeted for mains powered applications including lighting and gateways, and voice assistants. Designed to increase processing capability, improve RF performance, and lower active current, these devices also provide the highest level of IoT device security.
  • Our BG22 combines best-in-class ultra-low transmit and receive power (4.1 mA TX at 0 dBm, 3.6 mA RX) and a high-performance, low-power Arm® Cortex®-M33 core (27 µA/MHz active, 1.2 µA sleep) delivers industry-leading energy efficiency that can extend coin cell battery life up to ten years.
  • The BG24 is ideal for battery-powered IoT mesh devices including smart home, lighting, and portable medical products with features that include high-performance 2.4 GHz RF, low current consumption, an AI/ML hardware accelerator and Secure Vault™, IoT device makers can create the smart, robust, and energy-efficient products that are secure from remote and local cyber-attacks.·
  • Our newly announced BG27 is the most versatile SoC in our portfolio. This family offers an 2.3 mm x 2.6 mm package capable of running on button cell batteries, making it ideal for applications with extremely small form-factor requirements without sacrificing performance and security. The BG27 also features an integrated DCDC boost that allows operation down to 0.8 volts, enabling support for single-cell alkaline and 1.5-volt button cell batteries that are typically used in medical applications for battery-operated patches and continuous glucose monitoring devices.

There is a wide variety of application our Bluetooth devices can address, and Silicon Labs offers a wide selection of development hardware options to evaluate the best approach for your application needs:


Bluetooth Development Hardware Options


Learn more about Silicon Labs' broad Bluetooth offering for IoT – including the Bluetooth Low Energy SDK, Bluetooth chips (SoC and module hardware), and security with the world's first PSA Level 3 security certified hardware.

For more information about our Bluetooth offerings, check out our recent Bluetooth Tech Talk where we discuss selecting the right solutions for your application.  

Arnold Kalvach
Arnold Kalvach
Product Manager, Bluetooth | Silicon Labs
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