Gecko gang breaks into IoT connectivity

24-02-2016 |   |  By Paul Whytock

Embedded World Exhibition, Germany: A wireless-focused Gecko family of multiprotocol system-SoCs designed to provide flexible connectivity options for Internet of Things (IoT) devices has been launched here at the Nuremberg show by Silicon Labs.

The SoCs integrate an ARM Cortex-M4 core with Gecko technology, a 2.4 GHz radio with up to 19.5 dBm output power and advanced hardware cryptography.

Silicon Labs believe the Wireless Gecko SoCs will facilitate wireless design with good Thread and ZigBee stacks for mesh networks, intuitive radio interface software for proprietary protocols, Bluetooth Smart for point-to-point connectivity and Simplicity Studio tools.

The product portfolio features three Gecko families. They are; the Blue Gecko family for Bluetooth Smart connectivity including the BLE 4.2 specification, the unassumingly named Mighty Gecko family that boasts best-in-class ZigBee and Thread connectivity for mesh networks and the Flex Gecko family which as the name suggests provides flexible proprietary wireless protocol options for various applications.

The SoCs combine the Gecko MCU technology with a multiprotocol 2.4 GHz RF transceiver in a single-die solution with scalable memory options and also includes energy modes, fast wake-up/sleep transitions and the Peripheral Reflex System (PRS) which provides autonomous operation of low-power peripherals while the MCU core sleeps.

An integral hardware cryptographic accelerator provides autonomous encryption and decryption of Internet security protocols such as TLS/SSL with minimal CPU intervention and the on-chip accelerator supports algorithms such as AES with 128 or 256.

The portfolio is supported by Silicon Labs' Simplicity Studio development platform, a unified environment for concurrent MCU and RF design. Simplicity Studio tools include AppBuilder, Desktop Network Analyzer and Energy Profiler which helps designers to reduce the energy consumption of their code and extend battery life.


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By Paul Whytock

Paul Whytock is European Editor for Electropages. He has reported extensively on the electronics industry in Europe, the United States and the Far East for over twenty years. Prior to entering journalism he worked as a design engineer with Ford Motor Company at locations in England, Germany, Holland and Belgium.

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