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      • Energy Harvesting Node Software Development

        Silicon_Labs | 11/328/2014 | 09:46 AM
        Problem

         

        Can I use the Energy Harvesting Node to develop software?




        Solution

         

        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.
      • Silicon Labs CAGE Code

        Silicon_Labs | 11/328/2014 | 09:45 AM

        Question

        What's is Silicon Lab's CAGE (Commercial and Government Entity) code as registered with the United States Defense Logistics Agency (DLA)?

         

        Answer

        CAGE code: 6SQ24

         

        This information can also be found on the DLA's website: http://www.dlis.dla.mil/cage_welcome.asp

      • Si102x/Si103x SPI1 Pins

        Silicon_Labs | 11/328/2014 | 08:53 AM
        Question

         

        Why are PB2.0 – PB2.3 are not shown in the Si102x/Si103x device pinout?




        Answer

         

        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.
      • Direct Tie Match for greater than 13dBm

        Silicon_Labs | 11/328/2014 | 08:52 AM

        Question

         

        Can the a direct tie match be used for greater than +13dBm?




        Answer

         

        Yes.  The direct tie matching topology may be used with a transmit power up to +17 dBm. 

        Higher power settings may degrade the device over time.  We recommend the T/R switch topology for high power settings.

      • Application Notes for Si102x and Si103x radio

        Silicon_Labs | 11/328/2014 | 08:52 AM

        Question

         

        Are there any application notes for the Si102x or Si103x radio?




        Answer

         

        The Si102x and Si103x wireless MCUs contain an EZRadioPro.  Most application notes written for the Si4431 or Si4432 apply to the Si102x and Si103x as well.

      • PCB Assembly Issues With Si10xx Devices

        Silicon_Labs | 11/328/2014 | 08:51 AM

        Problem

         

        We're having issues with opens or shorts with the Si10xx device on our PCB. 




        Solution

         

        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.

         

      • Recommended solder reflow profile for Si10xx devices

        Silicon_Labs | 11/328/2014 | 08:51 AM
        Question

         

        What is the recommended solder reflow profile for Si10xx devices?




        Answer

         

        The peak reflow temperature should reach 245C for longer than 20 seconds.
      • High Tg PCB for Si10xx Designs

        Silicon_Labs | 11/328/2014 | 08:50 AM

        Question

         

        Is a High-Tg PCB really necessary for Si10xx designs?




        Answer

         

        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.

      • Using Si10xx Motherboard with WDS

        Silicon_Labs | 11/328/2014 | 08:49 AM
        Question

         

        Can I use the Si1000 MB motherboard with WDS?




        Answer

         

        The Si1000 MB (Mother Board ) part number TB099 may be used with WDS only after the Si10xx device has been programmed with the loadboard lite firmware.


        Populate the shorting blocks for the UART connection – TXD, RXD, & VIO on J8.

        Populate the shorting blocks for the EEPROM – 6 shorting blocks on J20.

        Populate the four shorting blocks on J19 for the Si100x (Si1000/1/2/3/4).

        Populate the four shorting blocks on J20 for the Si101x (Si1010/11/12/13/14).

        The MCU can be powered by the USB VCP connection by connecting a shorting block between VBA and WALL_PWR on J11. Also populate J5 and J17 to route power to the daughtercard.

        Make sure the mode switch SW4 is set to 2 Cell and the power switch SW5 is set to ON.

        The CP210x VCP drivers should be installed on the Windows machine before launching WDS.

        Use version 3.1 or higher of WDS to support loadboard light.

        WDS may recognize the loadboard lite firmware, but cannot read the EEPROM if all the cjumpers have not been installed. It is still possible to select the Si10xx variant manually.

         

      • Using Si10xx with the EZRadioPRO Loadboard

        Silicon_Labs | 11/328/2014 | 08:49 AM
        Question

         

        Can I use the Si1000 40-pin Daughtercard with the EZRadioPRO Loadboard?




        Answer

         

        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.