SiLabs Announces Big Additions to Connectivity SoC and SDK Offerings

August 22, 2023 by Aaron Carman

At this year's Works With conference, Silicon Labs announced new wireless SoCs and software support that may add range for smart wireless devices.

Silicon Labs has announced major upgrades to its connectivity portfolio at the Works With 2023 conference. As the IoT expands into newer and broader domains thanks to sub-GHz connections and AI/ML processing, the new Silicon Labs products are poised to offer new tools for designers.


SG23 and SG28 families

Silicon Labs' recently-released SG23 and SG28 families. Image (modified) used courtesy of Silicon Labs

Silicon Labs’ latest innovations—a new family of Amazon Sidewalk SoCs, the Series 3 wireless SoCs, and the Simplicity Studio software suite—address efficiency issues in both the hardware and software for wireless development. 


Amazon Sidewalk SoCs Help Build Community IoT

Silicon Labs has announced the SG23 and SG28 family of SoCs optimized for Amazon Sidewalk networks. Amazon Sidewalk has been rapidly gaining popularity as a community IoT network, and designers can make use of Silicon Labs' SoCs to speed their development time.

As part of the Sidewalk protocol, the SG23 and SG28 SoCs contain support for long-range, sub-GHz communication, a critical requirement for extending the range of the IoT. The SG28 also includes BLE support, adding more functionality to a single chip to help keep design complexity and BOM costs low.


The SG28 SoC

The SG28 SoC includes all the peripherals needed to realize an Amazon Sidewalk node, all in a single SoC. Image used courtesy of Silicon Labs. (Click image to enlarge)

In addition to the SoCs, Silicon Labs has released its Amazon Sidewalk Developer’s Journey with the goal of giving developers a step-by-step guide to establishing and launching an Amazon Sidewalk deployment. Silicon Labs says the SG23 and SG28 SoCs complement its wider wireless SoC portfolio and are now generally available.


Series 3 Wireless SoCs Double Down on Security

Silicon Labs has also announced its Series 3 platform, moving its most advanced process down to a 22 nm feature size. This move will ultimately allow designers to design more secure and integrated devices with improved power efficiency.


As the feature size decreases, semiconductor processes can achieve a much greater performance

As the feature size decreases, semiconductor processes can achieve a much greater performance per watt. Image used courtesy of Intel

Using Silicon Labs’ Secure Vault technology, Series 3 devices enhance the security features of Series 2, making them the most secure devices in the market, according to the company. Silicon Labs expects the Series 3 devices to increase AI/ML performance by over 100× compared to the Series 2, all the while maximizing power efficiency.


Simplicity Studio 6 Offers New Plug-Ins 

Finally, Silicon Labs announced a new version of Simplicity Studio, its application and productivity tools suite used for IoT software development. In addition to the new plug-ins and features, Simplicity Studio 6 also gives designers more choices in their development workflow.


Simplicity Studio

Simplicity Studio builds upon previous releases by including more features and allowing designers to use 3rd party tools as desired. Image used courtesy of Silicon Labs

The latest SDK gives designers the ability to integrate productivity tools and plug-ins into the environment of their choice. An added VS Code extension allows designers to use one of the most popular and familiar text editors to program Silicon Labs applications.


Streamlining IoT Development

Although the Silicon Labs announcements at Works With 2023 span a wide range of new hardware and software features, a common thread between them is their goal of simplifying the design process. The Amazon Sidewalk SoCs and Series 3 platform give hardware designers more tools for efficient devices, while the new software platform allows developers to quickly develop and qualify custom solutions.