Dev Kit Weekly: Silicon Labs Bluetooth (5) Xpress BGX13P Starter Kit

December 13, 2019 Brandon Lewis


Bluetooth 5 prototypers, this one’s for you.

The Bluetooth Xpress BGX13P Evaluation Kit from Silicon Labs is – you guessed it – based on the BGX13P Bluetooth module. That module includes a Bluetooth 5 radio with programmable output power, all of the PHYs required by the Bluetooth 5 spec, and integrated low-frequency oscillator for transitioning into sleep states. This technology suite enables a range of up to 200 m line-of-sight. But the highlight of this kit really isn’t the hardware. It’s the software that counts. The BGX13P comes pre-loaded with Si Labs’ full Bluetooth 5 protocol stack and cable replacement firmware that runs the company’s Gecko OS. These elements allow you to connect the kit to a companion smartphone app – BGX Commander – without doing any programming at all. Just plug the device into a PC via the microUSB interface, fire up a terminal app, and start sending commands and data between your smartphone and the kit.

Since there’s no micro on the board, a 20-pin female connector socket allows you to connect to more robust starter kits like the EFM8 or EFM32 boards, also from Silicon Labs. If you’re interested in learning more about the Bluetooth Xpress BGX13P Evaluation Kit, you can find out a There you can also find info on where to buy the kit, which will set you back $21.27. Or, fill out the raffle here and see if you can win this one for free:

About the Author

Brandon Lewis

Brandon Lewis, Editor-in-Chief of Embedded Computing Design, is responsible for guiding the property's content strategy, editorial direction, and engineering community engagement, which includes IoT Design, Automotive Embedded Systems, the Power Page, Industrial AI & Machine Learning, and other publications. As an experienced technical journalist, editor, and reporter with an aptitude for identifying key technologies, products, and market trends in the embedded technology sector, he enjoys covering topics that range from development kits and tools to cyber security and technology business models. Brandon received a BA in English Literature from Arizona State University, where he graduated cum laude. He can be reached by email at

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