Mar. 17, 2023 /SemiMedia/ -- Silicon Labs recently announced two new integrated circuit families designed for the smallest form factor IoT devices: the xG27 family of Bluetooth systems on chips (SoCs) and the BB50 microcontroller unit (MCU).
Designed for the smallest IoT devices, the xG27 and BB50 families range in size from 2 mm-squared, about the width of a #2 pencil lead, to 5 mm-squared, less than the width of a standard #2 pencil. These offer IoT device designers energy efficiency, high performance, trusted security, and in the case of the xG27 family, wireless connectivity. This makes the xG27 SoC family and BB50 MCU ideal for tiny, battery-optimized devices like connected medical devices, wearables, asset monitoring tags, smart sensors, simple consumer electronics like toothbrushes and toys, and more.
"Silicon Labs is the pure-play IoT leader, and our breadth, depth, and focus enable us to support the broadest range of wireless connectivity protocols of any semiconductor company," said Silicon Labs CEO Matt Johnson. "The xG27 SoCs and BB50 MCUs are helping developers build exciting new devices while also simplifying their development processes, all while maintaining the low-power and small form-factor requirements for extremely small devices."
The new xG27 family of SoCs comprises the BG27, for Bluetooth connectivity, and the MG27, supporting Zigbee and other proprietary protocols. Built around the ARM Cortex M33 processor, the BG27 and MG27 share several common features designed to make them the ideal SoC for small form-factor devices, including:
- Wafer-level Chip Scale Packaging as small as 2.3 mm x 2.6 mm, ideal for compact and unobtrusive devices like medical patches, continuous glucose monitors, wearable electrocardiograms, and asset tags in various settings like retail and agriculture.
- Integrated DCDC Boost that can allow the devices to operate on batteries as low as 0.8 V, thereby reducing their devices' size, form factor, and cost.
- Integrated Coulomb Counter that enables battery level monitoring to avoid battery depletion during the use of applications, improving user experience and product safety.
- Advanced security with Silicon Labs Secure Vault with Virtual Security Engine (VSE) for secure boot and debug hardened against glitch attacks, tamper protection, and additional features designed to protect the device and its users' data from local and remote cyber threats.
- Shelf Mode that reduces energy use to less than 20 nano amperes so that devices can be transported and stocked on shelves while maintaining nearly full battery life for the end-user.
The new BB50 MCU and the larger BB5x MCU family help address these challenges with the following:
- Common tools and software for 8-bit and 32-bit, like Silicon Labs Simplicity Studio and a fully-featured 8-bit compiler.
- A high-performance core optimized for a large number of single-cycle instructions to improve operating efficiency.
- Wide operating voltages and low-power modes for battery applications to improve energy efficiency for a large variety of battery sizes.
- Various packaging options ranging from 2 mm-squared to 5 mm-squared to optimize for size needs.
- Hundreds of firmware examples allow customers to easily add functionality to an existing product with little or no additional firmware development effort.