24 Jul 2024

Creating a smarter, more efficient IoT

Silicon Labs Announces Next Generation Series 3 Platform to Create a Smarter, More Efficient IoT

At its fourth annual ‘Works With Developers Conference’, Silicon Labs announced a new family of systems on chips (SoCs) optimised for Amazon Sidewalk, the SG23 and SG28 SoCs, as well as an extensive developer journey that provides step-by-step direction and expert advice for Amazon Sidewalk development.

The company says with these new devices, developer tools, and the previously announced Silicon Labs Pro Kit for Amazon Sidewalk, it strengthens its complete development platform for Amazon’s rapidly growing network. The new SoCs are generally available today through Silicon Labs and its distribution partners.

“Amazon Sidewalk brings many unique features for device developers, along with several unique requirements,” said Jake Alamat, Senior Vice President of Home and Life IoT at Silicon Labs. “By working closely with Amazon, we’ve been a leader in arming developers with the hardware, software, and development tools they need to navigate the Amazon Sidewalk development process.”

With the extensive breadth of technologies and protocols that exist in IoT today, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to choosing the right development platform for a device. Silicon Labs says as a leader in IoT, it has built its portfolio around that mindset, with different device families and derivatives for different parts, like the BG line of Bluetooth SoCs and the ZG line of Z-Wave SoCs, and now, the SG family of SoCs optimised for Amazon Sidewalk.

The always-on, community-driven Amazon Sidewalk network uses three different radios: Bluetooth LE for device provisioning and nearby device connectivity, sub-GHz FSK for connectivity up to one mile, and a proprietary CSS radio for extreme long-range. Most Amazon Sidewalk end-devices will support Bluetooth LE and one of the two long-range protocols: FSK or CSS. The SG28 includes two dual-band SoCs with radios for both sub-GHz FSK as well as Bluetooth LE. For device makers, the SG28 dual-band parts help simplify their devices and reduce cost by including the two most used radios on Sidewalk end-devices in one package, while the SG23 provides security and a robust sub-GHz link budget for long-range, end-node devices.

On March 28, 2023, Amazon Sidewalk opened for developers. While Amazon Sidewalk offered the advantage of already being a stood-up network at the time, it is also new, and developers need to be educated on how they can best create devices for it.

Recognising this, Silicon Labs worked directly with Amazon to create the Amazon Sidewalk Developer’s Journey with Silicon Labs. Across 12 steps organised in three stages, the Developer’s Journey guides developers through the complete process, from determining if their targeted region has Amazon Sidewalk coverage, all the way through device deployment and ongoing support for devices in the field. Throughout, the steps are explained through technical documentation, videos, and code samples, with the option to engage a Silicon Labs expert for support. Silicon Labs provides all the tools needed for each step, and by following the Developers Journey, device makers are well-positioned for Amazon Web Services and Amazon Sidewalk certification and approval.

The fourth annual Silicon Labs ‘Works With Developers Conference’ took place virtually on August 22 and 23. This  event  provided attendees with over 60 hours of live and on-demand technical IoT training. Amazon Sidewalk featured prominently in the agenda as one of the emerging ecosystems, and developers learnt how they can build for the new Amazon Sidewalk network or get more information on sub-GHz SoCs like the SG23 and SG28 in several sessions.

Company info: Silicon Labs