Today we announced the latest addition to the Wireless Gecko portfolio with the release of the first dual-band multi-protocol and sub-GHz wireless SoCs. Designed to support proprietary sub-GHz protocols as well as ZigBee, Thread, and Bluetooth standards, the new devices make it possible to use the same multi-protocol device for operation on multiple bands, reducing cost, simplifying design, and decreasing time to market.
The Connect Networking Stack
To address the broad range of applications built on proprietary wireless protocols, we’ve released the new IEEE 802.15.4-based Connect software stack. Connect abstracts the complexity of low-level radio configuration and network formation so developers can focus their time on application development.
Think of it as a template for peer-to-peer, star, and extended star networks.
With the needs of the ever-changing IoT market in mind, the combination of these new SoCs, tools and the Connect stack represent what we think is a major step forward in helping to ease the complicated wireless development process. The low active currents, innovative sleep modes, and superior radio performance of the SoCs, coupled with the customizable nature of Connect serves as a great starting point for IoT application development. Connect supports all device types (end nodes, coordinator, range extender) and is optimal for applications that require low-power consumption. The included sample applications and easy-to-use tools can help accelerate time-to-market. With Connect, everything for network formation and radio configuration is already done- all that is left is adding the application on top.
The Connect stack is built on top of our Radio Abstraction Interface Layer (RAIL). RAIL is essentially a library of functions built on top of the radio itself. Example code for things like collision avoidance, address filtering, and other features is built on top of the RAIL layer and a graphical user interface (GUI) lets you customize RF parameters so you can get what you need from the radio. RAIL brings in the needed configuration that enables you to build your own proprietary protocol on top of it.
Whether you are using sub-GHz or 2.4 GHz bands, Connect simplifies radio configuration and network formation by supporting many combinations of frequencies, data rates, and radio modulations. It is designed for compliance with regulatory specifications across worldwide geographic regions. Connect is ideally suited for applications such as smart lighting, home automation, and wireless sensor networks.
Smart lighting, for example, consists of a network of lights, switches and sensor nodes divided into zones. A smartphone equipped with Bluetooth functionality and a smart lighting application could interface with the Blue Gecko SoCs, for commissioning of the network. The Flex Gecko run the Connect proprietary networking stack for lighting control over sub-GHz network.
Simpler is Better
Just a single set of software tools is required, accessed through Simplicity Studio, to support the protocols. A Wireless Starter Kit is provided and serves as a common hardware platform. Simplicity Studio provides access to a comprehensive set of software tools to aid in development and optimize performance. Simplicity Studio’s Application Builder allows customization of the Connect stack, and the final binary represents the feature set selected by the user. This, along with one-click access to quick start guides and product documentation, enables a user to quickly get started with application development.
From customization to simplification, the Connect networking stack allows developers to ease the software development process and build their own connectivity solution faster.
Get all the details about the Connect networking stack here.