Designing a system or product that uses more than one wireless protocol can be challenging. In this Tech Talks session, Silicon Labs Field Applications Engineer, Wendy Warne, discusses various ways to use multiple protocols in a system, with a focus on dynamic multiprotocol. Click here to watch the entire session and register now for future Tech Talks. Highlights from Wendy's presentation are below.
Silicon Labs has a variety of wireless protocol solutions, all built upon a common platform and bootloader. The physical layers of the different protocol stacks sit on top of the Silicon Labs Radio Abstraction Interface Layer (RAIL), so our silicon is well-suited for multiprotocol applications. Additionally, all our protocols are developed and maintained in-house, providing developers a common platform to work in and facilitating a consistent development environment.
Dynamic multiprotocol is a method of dynamically switching protocols to allow multiple protocol operations on one radio. It works by time-slicing radio operations between multiple stacks and changing configurations so that different wireless protocols can operate reliably at the same time.
The Silicon Labs radio scheduler arbitrates between the different protocols to determine which one will have access to the radio. Radio protocols and operations are given a priority, indicating to the scheduler which operation should be executed if there is a timing overlap between multiple operations. The radio scheduler allows the task with the highest priority to access the physical radio hardware.
Priority levels are programmable. In the Tech Talks presentation, the priorities are as follows, from highest to lowest:
1. Bluetooth LE Scheduled Transmit
2. Bluetooth LE Scheduled Receive
3. Other protocol Scheduled Transmit
4. Other protocol Background Receive
A scheduled radio operation may be interrupted if a higher priority radio function is called. Interruption can occur in the following circumstances:
See the Tech Talks video for real application examples of these and other dynamic multiprotocol events using Bluetooth LE and Zigbee.
Dynamic multiprotocol is best used in systems where radio usage is moderate and where one of the radio protocols is deterministic, such as Bluetooth, and another radio protocol is less time-sensitive, such as Zigbee.
Our Series 1 and Series 2 SoCs and pre-certified modules offer a range of low-power, low-cost solutions for your wireless protocol applications. Get up and running quickly with our Getting Started development tools, including WSTK boards, radio boards, tutorials, sample code and technical documentation.
Your local Silicon Labs FAEs are here to assist you. Reach out to them for guidance on which protocol best meets your system requirements. For more information on our wireless solutions, contact your Silicon Labs sales representative.