Official Blog of Silicon Labs

      • Webinar: EFM8 Microcontrollers (APAC)

        Nari | 02/58/2015 | 09:26 AM

        Date & Time:

        Americas (English):  April 07 @ 10:00 PST (GMT +7)
        EMEA (English): April 09 @ 15:00 CEST (GMT -2) 

        APAC (English): April 21 @ 9:00 CST (UTM +8)
        APAC (Mandarin): April 22 @ 9:00 CST (UTM +8)


        Duration: 1 hour




        EFM8™ microcontrollers from Silicon Labs continue to push the boundaries of what engineers can demand from an 8-bit device. These devices enable designers to cram multiple analog and serial interfaces into the smallest of spaces.


        Silicon Labs is hosting a webinar that will cover these common questions:

        - Does your next USB design draw power from a portable device? 
        - In as small as a 3x3mm footprint? 
        - Have you struggled to include capacitive touch buttons in your design? 
        - Are you intrigued by enhancing your PWN signals?


        Agenda includes:
        - 8051 Advancements
        - EFM8 Technical Details
        - Live Demo of EFM8 Development Kits & Tools
        - Q&A

      • Webinar: What's new in Simplicity Studio

        Nari | 02/58/2015 | 09:14 AM

        Date: Tuesday, March 10, 2015

        Time: 10:00 AM Central Daylight Time

        Duration: 1 hour




        Our recently updated Simplicity Studio™ development platform provides a single, comprehensive embedded development ecosystem that enables concurrent MCU and wireless design for IoT applications. The platform features all the tools and information resources you need – at no charge – to streamline your design projects, from initial idea to final product.


        Join this webinar to learn more about:


        • Configuration and optimization tools to quickly configure pinouts and peripherals, automatically generate source code, and debug energy consumption.
        • The Eclipse-based Simplicity IDE that enables code development and debugging for Silicon Labs MCUs and wireless SOCs
        • And more!
      • 2015 Embedded World – Day 3. Latest Simplicity Studio and EFM8 8-bit MCU Demos

        Nari | 02/58/2015 | 05:06 AM

        Not attending this year’s Embedded World in Nuremberg, Germany? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with pictures and videos from the show!


        Simplify MCU and Wireless Design


        Simplicity Studio™ is the industry’s first integrated MCU/wireless development environment enabling concurrent MCU and RF design for a wide range of IoT applications. This new software release inherits the best features of the original Simplicity Studio platform and adds support for Silicon Labs’ new 8-bit EFM8 MCU family, new EZR32 sub-GHz wireless MCUs and EM35xx Ember ZigBee® wireless SoCs – the most widely used 2.4 GHz connectivity solution in the 802.15.4 mesh networking market.


        Want to learn more about the Simplicity Studio? Don’t miss your chance join this free webinar: Register for Webinar


        8-bit EFM8 Microcontrollers- What’s the BUZZ about?


        The EFM8 MCU family meets IoT developer needs with an unparalleled combination of features and capabilities including a high-speed pipelined 8051 core, ultra-low power, precision analog and enhanced communication peripherals, integrated oscillators, small-footprint packages, and an advanced crossbar architecture that enables flexible digital and analog multiplexing to simplify printed circuit board (PCB) design and I/O pin routing.


        Sign up for the EFM8 webinar to get the latest information: Register for Webinar


        Download the white paper - Smart Capacitive Sensing Design Tips

        Download the white paper - Proven 8051 Microcontroller Technology, Brilliantly Updated


        Smart. Connected. Energy-Friendly.  


        Targeting connected device applications for the smart home, smart energy, wearables and industrial IoT markets, Silicon Labs demonstrated next-generation, energy-friendly 8-bit and 32-bit microcontrollers (MCUs), Thread and ZigBee® mesh networking software, low-power Wireless M-Bus connectivity, environmental and biometric sensing solutions, and an expanded Simplicity Studio™ development ecosystem at the show. 


        Read "2015 Embedded World – Day 2. Blue Gecko Bluetooth Smart Solution and Wearable Sensor Platform

      • EZRadio and EZRadioPRO Take Home the Hardware Trophy at Embedded World 2015

        lethawicker | 02/57/2015 | 05:51 PM

        We’re all standing a little prouder ever since we heard that Silicon Labs won the hardware category in the embedded AWARD 2015 for our EZRadio and EZRadioPRO wireless radios. Here’s what Embedded World said about the winners:


        “Silicon Labs delivers focused support for the breakthrough and development of the IoT with its EZRadio and EZRadioPRO family of devices. These products support different protocols, allowing for a wide range of applications, for instance in wireless sensor networks, industrial M2M communications, remote control, security systems and smart meters. One stand-out feature is that modules for battery operation were designed with standby current of just 40nA (manufacturer information). Each device contains a patent-pending signal arrival detector to wake it up from standby, allowing for long-term use of up to 20 years with a button cell (manufacturer information). EZRadio and EZRadio PRO components already contain other features of wireless modules, such as frequency hopping, thereby offloading the host microcontroller and keeping the entire system's energy consumption low.”

        Award Winners

        They picked up on the best features of these proven, reliable wireless devices:

        • Interoperability across protocols
        • Miniscule standby current of 40 nA
        • Signal arrival detector to wake from standby rapidly and go back to sleep just as quickly
        • Frequency hopping
        • Up to 20 years of use on a single coin-cell battery

        Read more about the EZRadio and EZRadioPRO at our website, or download a white paper based on this technology combined with our EFM32 32-bit processor, the EZR32.

      • 2015 Embedded World – Day 2. Blue Gecko Bluetooth Smart Solution and Wearable Sensor Platform

        Nari | 02/56/2015 | 08:59 AM

        Not attending this year’s Embedded World in Nuremberg, Germany? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with pictures and videos from the show!


        Blue Gecko Bluetooth® Smart Solution

        Blue Gecko wireless SoCs and modules help developers simplify design and speed time to market for a wide range of applications for the connected home, health and fitness, wearables, automotive, consumer electronics, audio and industrial automation markets. The Blue Gecko solutions include ultra-low-power wireless system-on-chip (SoC) devices, embedded modules, and Bluegiga’s software development kit (SDK) and Bluetooth Smart software stack.


        Visit the Blue Gecko page to learn more:


        Wearable Sensor Platform

        High precision optical sensor family senses UV Index, ambient light, long range proximity, heart rate/pulse oximetry and motion with 2D or 3D gestures makes it ideal for wearable applications. In addition to highly integrated sensor products, Silicon Labs offers software and source code for a variety of applications along with full hardware and software reference designs.


        Learn more about Silicon Labs sensor technology:


        Check out the new SENSOR-PUCK with Bluetooth low energy and iOS/Android app:


        IP-based wireless mesh networking Thread software

        Customer requirements and the rapid expansion of applications in the Internet of Things (IoT) market led to the creation of the Thread networking protocol, a new standards-based, IP-addressable, low-power mesh networking solution. Silicon Labs joined the Thread Group as a founding member to contribute mesh networking expertise and deliver software solutions that satisfy these market needs.


        Learn more about the Thread Software:


        Read "2015 Embedded World – Day 1. Opening Keynote and the world’s most energy-friendly 8-bit, 32-bit MCUs

      • Come see what's new in Simplicity Studio

        lethawicker | 02/55/2015 | 05:28 PM


        We’re excited to announce that we’ve added some great new functionality to the already-fantastic Simplicity Studio. This one-stop-shop development platform now supports MCU and wireless products, from our new EFM8 Bee MCU family to the EZR32 Wireless STK. Find out just what’s changed if you’re a veteran, and learn about the platform if you’re new to it, at our live webinar. Join us Tuesday, March 10 at 10:00 AM CDT to learn about:


        • Configuration and optimization tools to quickly configure pinouts and peripherals, automatically generate source code, and debug energy consumption.
        • The Eclipse-based Simplicity IDE that enables code development and debugging for Silicon Labs MCUs and wireless SOCs
        • And more!

        If you’ve been wondering what’s next for Simplicity Studio, or just considering dipping your toe in the water, this is the perfect opportunity to learn and experience the platform for yourself. See you there!

      • EZR32 Family Fulfills IoT Sensor Node Requirements

        lethawicker | 02/55/2015 | 03:37 PM

        Silicon Labs announced its family of EZR32 MCUs that combine EZRadio and EZRadioPRO sub-GHz wireless connectivity with our proven energy-friendly EFM32 32-bit MCUs. When you create a device that opens up the runway for the development of IoT devices, you need to start considering a range of issues effecting the success of your design projects. You can get the full white paper right now, and a small taste of what you can learn below.


        IoT Sensor Node Requirements

        The network topology of IoT systems is comprised of simple nodes that collect and transmit a limited amount of data to a central controller or gateway which provides connectivity to the Internet and cloud services. Nodes and gateways must be designed to minimize power consumption, provide reliable and robust network connections and extend wireless connectivity range as far as possible.

         Typical Wireless Metering Architecture

        Typical Wireless Metering Architecture


        At the heart of IoT systems is a processor unit or microcontroller (MCU) that processes data and runs software stacks interfaced to a wireless device for connectivity. Requirements for both the MCU and wireless device are specific to the end application and system requirements. Advanced IoT sensor nodes consolidate sensor functions and use either an 8-bit MCU or a 32-bit device to run a small radio frequency (RF) protocol stack. These devices are typically battery powered and connect to gateways where heavier processing and data transmission occurs.


        Sensor Nodes typically transfer small amounts of data and often have to operate on batteries for several years. The devices must also be portable, reliably connected and able to operate under varied environmental conditions regardless of RF interference or physical barriers. Because these devices are part of networks, the setup of networks, aggregation of sensor data and display of information must also be considered. The combined selection of the appropriate MCU and wireless or RF connectivity for these devices as well as development tools and software stacks for application development are critical to their successful design.


        Want more? Get the full white paper now!

      • 2015 Embedded World – Day 1. Opening Keynote and the world’s most energy-friendly 8-bit, 32-bit MCUs

        Nari | 02/55/2015 | 06:57 AM

        Not attending this year’s Embedded World in Nuremberg, Germany? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with pictures and videos from the show!


        Opening of 2015 Embedded World 

        We're excited to demonstrate the latest hardward and software solutions for the IoT at 2015 Embedded World. Here's the opening video on what you can expect to see at the Silicon Labs' booth (4A-128):



        Opening keynote

        Our CEO, Tyson Tuttle, is ready to deliver the Embedded World opening-day keynote on “Engineering the IoT: An RF Expert’s View on Technology Trends and Challenges.” Tyson will explore an array of existing and emerging wireless connectivity technology options for the IoT including low-power Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Smart, ZigBee and Thread protocol for IP mesh networking. The presentation video is available is here:




        Next-Generation 8-bit Microcontrollers

        Silicon Labs unveiled the new energy-friendly EFM8 Bee MCU family with three lines (Busy Bee, Sleepy Bee, Universal Bee) of highly integrated, peripheral-rich MCUs optimized for exceptional price/performance value, ultra-low-power capacitive touch control and streamlined USB connectivity. Check out this game demo “Staying Alive with Bees & Geckos” based on the latest MCUs and proximity sensors from Silicon Labs:



        New 32-bit sub-GHz Wireless MCUs

        Silicon Labs also introduced a new family of 32-bit wireless microcontrollers (MCUs) designed to simplify a wide range of IoT connectivity applications such as smart metering, wireless sensor networks, home and building automation, security systems, remote monitoring, and asset tracking. Learn more about the EZR32 family in this video:



        32-bit EFM32 Gecko family based on ARM Cortex-M0+, M3, and M4

        The EFM32 family helps embedded developers accelerate their IoT design projects, maximize system battery life, and get to market faster with an expanded Simplicity Studio development ecosystem.



        We’ll keep you updated on what’s happening at the Silicon Labs’ booth on the blog. Stay tuned!

      • Blue Plus Gecko Equals Energy-Friendly Bluetooth SoCs

        lethawicker | 02/54/2015 | 05:18 PM

        Blue Gecko

        The first in a family of wireless SoCs optimized for IoT applications, Blue Gecko SoCs combine Silicon Labs’ energy-friendly EFM32® Gecko MCU technology with an ultra-low-power Bluetooth Smart transceiver. This innovative, single-die solution provides industry-leading energy efficiency, the fastest wake-up times, superior RF sensitivity and no-compromise MCU features combined with the Bluegiga Bluetooth Smart software stack to help developers reduce system power, cost and time to market. Unlike other Bluetooth Smart IC alternatives, a Blue Gecko SoC can transmit +10 dBm or higher output power with its fully integrated power amplifier and balun, further reducing design complexity.


        Blue Gecko SoCs are based on the ARM® Cortex®-M3 and M4 cores and offer 128 to 256 kB flash sizes and 16 to 32 kB RAM sizes. The SoCs integrate an array of low-energy peripherals as well as Silicon Labs’ Peripheral Reflex System (PRS) for autonomous peripheral operation. The Blue Gecko SoC family also offers a roadmap of enhanced flash and RAM memory sizes and additional package options to meet future application needs.

        Blue Gecko SoC

        Blue Gecko Wireless Modules

        Bluegiga modules based on Blue Gecko SoCs are designed to help developers accelerate time to market and reduce development costs and compliance risks by providing a pre-certified, plug-and-play RF design. Bluegiga Bluetooth Smart modules incorporate all features of Blue Gecko SoCs and are certified for use in all key markets including North America, Europe, Japan and South Korea. Bluegiga modules include the Bluegiga Bluetooth Smart software stack and profile toolkit and come with 256 kB flash and 32 kB RAM, providing ample available memory for onboard applications.


        Flexible hardware interfaces enable easy connection to a variety of peripherals and sensors, and an integrated antenna makes RF operation consistent and straightforward for the design engineer. Bluegiga Bluetooth Smart modules provide very low power operation, enabling wireless system designs to be powered from a standard 3 V coin cell battery or two AAA batteries.


        Simplifying Bluetooth Smart Development

        To simplify wireless development, Silicon Labs offers the complete Bluegiga Bluetooth Smart software stack for Blue Gecko modules and wireless SoCs. The stack implements the Bluetooth Smart protocol layers including the Attribute Protocol (ATT), the Generic Attribute Profile (GATT), the Generic Access Protocol (GAP), a security manager and connection management.


        The Blue Gecko portfolio includes a comprehensive wireless SDK for developing Bluetooth Smart applications using either a host or fully standalone applications through the easy-to-use Bluegiga BGScript™ scripting language. BGScript enables developers to create applications quickly without using external MCUs to run the application logic, enabling them to reduce cost, simplify their designs and get to market faster. Bluetooth Smart application profiles and examples are also available to help streamline development.


        Don’t wait to get started! Register now for our sample program and develop right away.

      • Join the Hive Mind with New EFM8 8-Bit Microcontrollers

        lethawicker | 02/54/2015 | 12:43 PM

        Today, the humble 8-bit MCU got a whole new set of bragging rights when Silicon Labs announced our new EFM8 line. Because these MCUs do a lot of work in a tiny package, we’ve dubbed them the “Bees.”


        Three Bees are buzzing their way into our product line-up today:

        • Busy Bee (EFM8BB10FXG) is a general-purpose, highly-versatile MCU that is ideal for a wide range of applications requiring low-power and high speed:
          • SAR ADC—12-bit at 200 ksps; 10-bit at 800 ksps
          • 2x low-current comparators with built-in DAC
          • 2x UART (3Mbps), 1x SPI (12 Mbps), 2x I2C (3.4 Mbps)
          • “Priority crossbar”—simplifies PCB design
        • Sleepy Bee (EFM8SB10FXG) is as low-power as it gets, making it perfect for applications where energy use must be as minimal as possible:
          • 50 nA sleep mode with BOR
          • Active mode—140 µA/MHz
          • Fast wake up--< 2 µs
          • Capacitive sense--<1 µA wake on touch average
        • Universal Bee (EFM8UB10FXG) incorporates USB into a low-power, highly-responsive package:
          • No external crystal or regulator needed for USB
          • Up to 90% power reduction
          • USB charger detect circuit
          • 2x UART (3Mbps), 1x SPI (12 Mbps), 2x I2C (3.4 Mbps)

        What makes our new take on the time-tested 8051 8-bit architecture so helpful to designers across such a wide array of uses? Download “Proven 8051 Microcontroller Technology, Brilliantly Updated” to find out, or register for our live webinar.

        EFM8 Applications