One of the aspects of Embedded World that I enjoy is that it’s still a meeting place for people at the engineering level as well as those in the C suite. Hence, it was nice to get a chance to catch up with Tyson Tuttle, CEO of Silicon Labs. I’ve been following Silicon Labs for quite some time, and they continue to remake themselves. Currently, they’re a company that’s making a lot of noise in the microcontroller and wireless spaces, Bluetooth wireless to be specific.
Here at the show, they introduced a series of Bluetooth Smart solutions called Blue Gecko that helps system designers reduce energy consumption, cost, and complexity. This announcement comes on the heels of the company’s acquisition of Bluegiga, a supplier of wireless modules and software.
The Blue Gecko solutions include ultra-low-power wireless system-on-chip (SoC) devices, embedded modules, and Bluegiga’s software development kit (SDK) and Bluetooth Smart software stack. Applications that can take advantage of these products include the connected home, health and fitness, wearables, automotive, consumer electronics, audio, and industrial automation. In a nutshell, it addresses the IoT space.
One member of the family, the EFM32 Gecko MCU, is a Bluetooth Smart transceiver. This single-die solution offers fast wake-up times, excellent RF sensitivity, and a host of MCU features that combine with the Bluetooth Smart software stack. Unlike competitive products, this device can transmit +10 dBm or higher output power with its fully integrated power amplifier and balun, further reducing design complexity.
Blue Gecko SoCs are based on ARM Cortex M3 and M4 cores and offer 128 to 256 KB of flash and 16 to 32 KB of RAM. A comprehensive wireless SDK is available for developing Bluetooth Smart applications using either a host or fully standalone applications.