Can I use the Energy Harvesting Node to develop software?
Yes, the Energy Harvesting Node is a ToolStick daughtercard and may be used as a software development platform for wireless applications. Make sure the power selector switch is in the USB position when connected to the debugger.
Why are PB2.0 – PB2.3 are not shown in the Si102x/Si103x device pinout?
PB2.0-PB2.3 are valid GPIO pins on the MCU, but are not physically bonded out to a pin on the package; they are instead connected internally to the radio. As a result, these pins should only be used for SPI1 communications with the EZRadioPro.
We're having issues with opens or shorts with the Si10xx device on our PCB.
The Si10xx wireless MCU devices all use a 0.5mm pitch surface mount package.As with other surface mount devices, the solder paste and PCB land pattern may require fine adjustment in design to optimize yield.
Common issues include open pins.This may be caused by lack of paste on the signal pins, a release issue where the solder paste sticks to the opening of the stencil and does not deposit on the PCB, or possibly an imbalance between solder coverage on the E-pad and the surrounding signal pads.The device may float on a pool of solder on the E-pad, keeping the clearance between paste and pin on outer pads high enough that they do not wet. Reducing the solder coverage on the E-pad may help.
Shorted pins occur occasionally, indicating that too much solder paste may be used. One possible solution is to elongate the PCB pads and solder mask openings to provide a reservoir area of sorts for excess solder to bead. Excessive solder on the E-pad will likely short signal pins to the E-pad ground.
Some Si10xx datasheets contain recommendations for via placement. This is important to follow, as vias expand lengthwise at a different rate than the PCB or package and can cause mechanical stress.
PCB singulation (or, the process of removing individual boards from a panel of boards) may also cause damage. Boards using a score-and-break method may flex the PCB beneath the device. This may cause pads to separate from the package or PCB. Singulation via routing may help.
Is a High-Tg PCB really necessary for Si10xx designs?
High-Tg PCB substrates (PCB dielectrics with a high Glass Transition temperature) are recommended in general for all lead-free designs since the required reflow temperatures are higher than traditional leaded designs.
Tg is the temperature at which the PCB substrate begins to soften and lose its mechanical properties. The material may also expand at high temperatures and contract as it cools. These mechanical changes cause stresses in the PCB to pad connections and the Si10xx device packaging and can lead to failure.
Can I use the Si1000 40-pin Daughtercard with the EZRadioPRO Loadboard?
The EZRadioPRO Loadboard and WDS may be used with Si10xx 40-pin daughter-cards only after programming the daughtercard with the SPI pass-though code.
First the Si1000 must be programmed with the SPI pass-through code. Insert the Si10xx daughtercard into the Si1000 MB. Open a new Si1000 project with the Silicon Labs IDE. Add the the corresponding version of the SPI_PassThrough_Si10xx.c file. Build the project connect and download. Once the SPI pass-through code has been programmed, the daughtercard may be used with the load board.
Insert the Si1000 daughtercard into the loadboard. Connect the Loadboard to the PC via the USB cable.
Please ensure that you have installed the FTDI drivers for the loadboard.
WDS should recognize the Si1000 daughter card. Any existing EZRadioPRO scripts can be used with the Si10xx daughtercard.