Silicon Labs xG27 Introduces Tiny Bluetooth and Zigbee SoCs
WCSP-sized ICs include radio, Arm Cortex-M33, and DC-DC converter.
Silicon Labs has introduced the xG27, a new system-on-chip (SoC) family for Bluetooth and Zigbee-based IoT devices. These new SoCs come in tiny packages targeting applications like the smart home, building automation, wearables, connected health, and others.
"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,"
— Matt Johnson, Silicon Labs CEO
The xG27 family has two SOCs. One chip is the BG27 (EFR32BG27) with Bluetooth connectivity, and the other is MG27 (EFR32MG27) for multiprotocol support. Silicon Labs mentions ZigBee for the MG27 but also supports Matter, OpenThread, BLE, and proprietary 2.4 GHz protocols.
These SoCs measure only 2.3 by 2.6 millimeters in a wafer-level chip-scale (WCSP) package. These tiny SoCs include the radio, an Arm core, a DC-DC converter, and a Columb counter.
The Arm core is a Cortex-M33 running at 76.8 megahertz with DSP instructions and a floating-point unit. It has up to 768 kilobytes of Flash memory and up to 64 kilobytes of RAM.
An integrated boost or buck converter reduces the total system parts count and enables the xG27 family to operate from 0.8 to 3.8 volts. (Specific range depends on which mode is used.) Additionally, it includes a Columb counter to assist in monitoring battery power consumption.
Overall, the xG27 targets low system energy consumption. RX/TX operations range from 3.6 to 11.3 milliamps, and sleep modes range from 0.18 to 29 microamps. Additionally, a shelf mode enables standby current to be as low as 20 nanoamps.
While these modules could work with virtually any platform, Silicon Labs is also touting their BB5x microcontrollers (MCUs) as the companion to the xG27 SoCs. The BB5x is an 8-bit microcontroller with an 8051 core running up to 50 megahertz. These MCUs have 5 volt-capable I/O and typical peripherals like an ADC, DAC, PWM, timers, and serial protocols.
For more information, check out the product page on the BG27 (Bluetooth), MG27 (ZigBee/Multiprotocol), and BB5 (8-bit MCU).