Silicon Labs – Ease wireless embedded design with next-generation EZRadio ICs (EZRadio Si4455)Jul 30 2012 - Semiconductors [More Semiconductors Articles]
The new EZRadio Si4455 transceiver and Si4355 receiver products combine market-leading advances in size, performance and low-power operation with easy-to-use development tools. The EZRadio ICs are well suited to a variety of wireless applications such as remote controls, automotive remote keyless entry (RKE), home and building automation, security and lighting control, wireless sensor networks, and health and fitness devices.
Adding RF connectivity to embedded applications can be a complex, costly and time-consuming process. Silicon Labs’ new EZRadio products make it easy and cost-effective for developers to incorporate bidirectional and one-way RF links into their products without performance trade-offs. By reducing the barriers to wireless development, the EZRadio family can help expand the use of high-performance wireless connectivity in embedded designs.
Covering the 283-350MHz, 425-525MHz and 850-960MHz frequency bands, the Si4x55 devices offer +13dBm output power and -116dBm sensitivity, enabling them to deliver significantly better range than other sub-GHz solutions. The devices offer superior out-of-band performance (-56 dB selectivity and -61 dB blocking at 1 MHz offset), making it easier to meet regulatory standards and operate in noisy environments without additional filtering. The Si4x55 devices require minimal external components and are available in the smallest form factor in their class (3 mm x 3mm), making them ideal for cost-sensitive, space-constrained designs.
In addition to providing superior RF performance, the Si4x55 EZRadio products offer industry-leading low-power operation suitable for battery-backed applications. The Si4x55 devices also offer the best standby current in their class (50nA), an impressive active transmit current of 20mA at +10dBm and a low receive current of 10mA.
While many high-performance wireless ICs can be difficult to configure, the EZRadio products include the GUI-based EZConfig configuration tool, a key part of Silicon Labs’ Wireless Development Studio. EZConfig software eliminates the complex manual configuration process needed for most RF designs, saving time and effort normally required to calculate and verify a lengthy list of radio parameters. Developers simply select from predefined configurations that have been optimized and validated, or they can easily set up their own customized configuration. EZConfig also includes an optional configuration wizard for developers who may be unfamiliar with RF design. The configuration wizard guides developers through a setup process that ultimately recommends a wireless configuration based on the needs of their end application.
“Recognizing the traditional complexity of adding RF connectivity to embedded systems, we designed the new Si4x55 EZRadio wireless ICs and development tools to provide the utmost ease-of-use without sacrificing performance,” said Diwakar Vishakhadatta, vice president and general manager of Silicon Labs’ Wireless Embedded Products. “Our EZConfig software makes it easy to add state-of-the-art sub-GHz transceivers and receivers to any application.”
Silicon Labs offers a variety of demonstration and development kits to accelerate wireless development. Many developers start with a standard LED-based demonstration kit, such as the EZR-LEDK1W kit for one-way wireless connections and the EZR-LEDK2W kit for bidirectional connections. The kits come pre-loaded with demo code enabling developers to begin taking RF measurements right out of the box. For more advanced evaluation, Silicon Labs offers the 4010-AES1W, 4012-LCDK1W and EZR-LCDK2W kits, which come with an LCD screen on the Si4355 or Si4455 evaluation board to display communication link details. The Si4355 and Si4455 daughter cards available with these kits also can be used directly with a compatible Silicon Labs Unified Development Platform (UDP), a test board kit with modular daughter cards that make it easy to test multiple Silicon Labs products in the same environment, says the company.More news from Silicon Labs