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      • Selecting the Best Mesh Networking Standard

        Lance Looper | 02/43/2018 | 10:23 AM

        The benefits of mesh technology continue to gain traction among IoT developers as end-users experience sizeable application performance gains from IoT devices tapping this type of wireless interconnection network.

        In the new whitepaper, “Selecting the Appropriate Wireless Mesh Network Technology,” we give IoT developers much-needed advice into considerations required for selecting wireless mesh networks for IoT applications, such as lighting systems, retail beacon systems, or building or home automation.  

        Mesh networks use connected devices as nodes to extend connectivity, shortening proximity ranges for connectivity and allowing device-to-device communication often without the need of a cloud gateway. For instance, the connectivity range for lighting systems is extended every time a new light is introduced to the system, enabling any light switch action to stay within the mesh network instead of being transmitted over a cloud gateway. One of the main benefits of mesh networks is their ability to remove latency issues and speed device application performance.

        The new whitepaper hits briefly on some of the applications benefiting from mesh networks, yet focuses mainly on explaining the nuances of integrating IoT devices into wireless mesh networks.

        Interoperability with already deployed wireless protocols, such as Zigbee and Bluetooth, is discussed in length in the paper, along with best practices using the Thread mesh protocol. Different service providers have requirements for a specific protocol and/or multiple protocols; therefore, designers must be aware of these details when selecting the appropriate connectivity solution. Many existing devices use Zigbee, and for new devices based on a technology such as Bluetooth mesh, an interoperability strategy either through the end device or gateway supporting multiple protocols needs to be considered. Several other important interoperability insights are discussed in the paper, as well as the importance of ensuring the entire connectivity ecosystem is addressed and adaptation of IP at the gateway is successful, as needed.

        Another valuable theme conveyed is the use of wireless standards and how to use the protocols depending on the type of device and application. Of the three standards discussed in the paper, the Thread mesh standard is the only protocol based on IPv6, providing several unique benefits, such as end-to-end routing and addressability on the same or across networks. Development tips are also discussed, such as the fact that Bluebooth low energy can be combined with Zigbee to simplify device setup via Bluetooth commissioning, using smart phones for Zigbee devices or to provide the Bluetooth connectivity needed to support Apple Homekit.

        Silicon Labs has a multiprotocol software and hardware solution designed to solve many of the issues detailed in this article, which helps designers design a single product supporting multiple wireless connectivity protocols. This can be the same device capable of connectivity to multiple protocols in the field, or a device with the ability to be configured in the field or factory to one of a number of different wireless protocols.

        As is often the case, one protocol may not be able to meet the needs of all products and markets, though this paper provides a fair amount of insight into which one to consider depending on the type of application the designer is tackling.

        Download the whitepaper.

         

         

         

         

      • Embedded World 2018

        Lance Looper | 02/32/2018 | 11:08 AM

        Trade show season is in full swing, and we’re looking forward to our upcoming trip to Nürnberg, Germany for Embedded World 2018. With over a thousand exhibitors and more than 30,000 attendees, this is the premier event for embedded systems design in the world. And Silicon Labs will be there showing off the latest silicon, software, and solutions that have made us a leader in IoT.

        If you’re there, plan on coming by Stand 4A.128 to check out the following demos. And if you want to meet with us, register here.

        Wireless

        Come discover why our newest Wi-Fi chips and modules with best in class power and sensitivity are the ideal solution for IoT and other embedded applications. We'll also show you how the advanced security features in these devices, like built-in secure link, secure debug and secure boot protect help your devices and code.

        MCU/Micrium

        Highly capable, low power systems can be hard to develop, especially when adding wireless connectivity. We’re working to solve this challenge. When your application needs long-range wireless, innovative features, and longer battery-life, our new EFM32 Giant Gecko MCU and the pre-certified Digi XBee3 smart modem come to the rescue. Stop by and see how these solutions, along with Micrium OS and advanced development tools address this challenge in IoT.

        Isolation

        Isolation is critical in wired communication, protecting both hardware and humans operating the hardware from high voltages. This demo will show two industrial EFM8 microcontrollers communicating through Silicon Labs’ isolators for a more robust system.

        Proprietary Wireless

        Silicon Labs’ multiprotocol solutions enable advanced connectivity without increased cost or complexity. We’ll be showing off our latest innovations in dynamic multiprotocol, combining Bluetooth and Proprietary Sub-GHz in a single multiprotocol, multi-band wireless SoC. 

        Bluetooth

        See how our Bluetooth solutions seamlessly sync with Apple HomeKit and Bluetooth LE applications. With our Blue Gecko and voice over Bluetooth software and hardware, you can enhance your third party Bluetooth enabled devices.  

        Mesh Networking

        Silicon Labs is the industry leader in mesh networking. With Zigbee, Thread, Bluetooth mesh and Multiprotocol solutions, Silicon Labs can help customers select the right mesh technology for their application. Come learn about the various mesh protocols and see how Silicon Labs hardware, software, tools and reference designs can get you to market faster. 

        Securely Managed IoT Solutions

        Silicon Labs is showcasing a commercial-grade managed solution for connected product manufacturers. It is illustrated here with a Silicon Lab’s ZigBee SoC, a reference gateway for OEMs and a cloud-based Device Management Service. Go from concept to market-ready IoT solution faster than ever. 

         

        Silicon Labs experts will also be speaking on the following topics:

        Feb. 27th

        • What is an IoT OS? - Øivind Loe; 9:30am-10
        • How Do You Select Which IoT Protocol to Use? - Matt Saunders; Noon - 12:30       
        • Security in Manufacturing: Closing the Backdoor in IoT Products - Josh Norem; 2:30pm - 3
        • Understanding Advanced Bluetooth Angle Estimation Techniques for RT Locationing - Sauli Lehtimaki; 4pm-4:30
        • Dotdot Unifies Legacy Device Networks – Mark Tekippe; 4pm-4:30

         

        Feb. 28th

        • The IoT Requires Upgradable Security – Lars Lydersen; 11:30am – Noon
        • ARM Cortex-M and RTOSs Are Meant for Each Other - Jean Labrosse; 11:30am – Noon
        • Unraveling Mesh Networking Options: Benchmarking Zigbee, Thread, and Bluetooth Mesh Protocol Stacks – Tom Pannell; Noon-12:30

         

        March 1

        • Debugging Live Cortex-M Based Embedded Systems – Jean Labrosse; 4pm-4:30