We’re at Embedded World in Nuremberg, Germany this week where we’ve announced an expansion to our Wireless Gecko SoC portfolio. The new EFR32xG12 SoCs can help make sure your devices are ready for whatever comes next.
Update a protocol? No problem. Add another protocol? No sweat. The new Wireless Gecko has more memory and offers features including over-the-air software updates to support application enhancements and evolving protocol needs in the field. Superior RF performance and robust wireless software stacks make it possible to deliver more reliable, differentiated products to market fast.
Teach Your Device New Tricks
The new Wireless Geckos make it easier to add multiprotocol switching capabilities to complex IoT applications, regardless of skill level while supporting a wider range of multiprotocol, multiband use cases for home automation, connected lighting, and wearables.
Wireless Gecko SoCs support zigbee® and Thread mesh networking, Bluetooth® 5, as well as proprietary wireless protocols and we’ve optimized the wireless protocol stack architecture to for efficient switching between different network protocols. Now device makers can use a single chip to commission and configure devices over Bluetooth with a smartphone, and then join a zigbee or Thread mesh network to connect to dozens or even hundreds of end nodes.
We also released new Jade and Pearl Gecko 32-bit MCUs that make it possible for developers to easily add touch-control interfaces, powerful security capabilities and multiple low-power sensors to IoT devices. The new MCUs are optimized for high performance, low-energy applications and support over-the-air (OTA) updates to deployed end products.
Jade and Pearl Gecko MCUs offer hardware cryptography technology featuring an energy-efficient security accelerator, a true random number generator and an SMU, making it possible to secure connectivity for IoT devices without sacrificing battery life. The encryption/decryption accelerator runs the most up-to-date security algorithms with higher performance and lower power than conventional software implementations. An addition to the conventional memory protection unit, the SMU enables software to set up fine-grained security for peripheral access. Peripherals may be secured by hardware on an individual basis, allowing only privileged access to the peripheral’s register interface.
The new MCUs offer more flash memory (up to 1024 kB with a dual-bank architecture) and RAM (up to 256 kB) than previous-generation Jade and Pearl Gecko products, making it easier to develop feature-rich embedded applications supporting real-time operating systems such as Micrium OS. The dual-bank memory architecture enables robust in-field update capabilities after product deployment.
The new Jade and Pearl MCUs are software compatible with the full range of EFM32 Gecko MCUs and Wireless Gecko SoCs, enabling broad software reuse and reduced development time and cost for developers.
When talking about dynamic multiprotocol, we’re talking about time slicing between two protocols. Bluetooth with low energy is ideal for this as the second protocol because it’s deterministic. This means we can leave the primary network for a period of time, and then quickly switch to Bluetooth with low energy, do the transactions, and then switch back to the primary network. We talk about 802.15.4 (zigbee and Thread) as the primary network because they have built in retry mechanisms to handle the short off network times during Bluetooth transactions. In addition, there is strong interest and it’s standards based, so the overall market is larger. However, we have seen interest as well in sub-GHz/BLE and we have internally demonstrated that it could also be done. However, I want to caution, showing a demo and developing a robust, production ready solution are different.
We have they key building blocks including the hardware (multi-band, multiprotocol EFR32), and software (Gecko Bootloader, Micrium OS and the protocol stacks). Our focus is to develop an software architecture that will enable a multitude of robust and production ready dynamic multiprotocol solutions to meet the needs of our customers. The first focus in ZigBee/BLE, following by Thread/BLE and then we will look at other options such as sub-GHz/BLE. At this time, I do not have a timeline for sub-GHz/BLE dynamic multiprotocol.
I hope that answers your question.