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New SoC and MCU from Silicon Labs are made for Small Form Factor Devices

Written by Stephen Vicinanza

New SoC and MCU from Silicon Labs are made for small form factor devices. Silicon Labs has developed the xG27 Bluetooth-enabled systems on a chip (SoCs) and BB50 microcontroller (MCU) to fit in the smallest of IoT devices.

Designed with tiny devices in mind the xG27 and the BB50 families of integrated circuits range in size from 2mm squared to 5mm squared. The largest dimension is less than the width of a #2 pencil. The company is saying these devices offer the IoT device designer high efficiency, trusted security, high performance, and in the case of xG27 wireless connectivity.

The size of the devices makes them suitable for tiny battery-optimized devices, such as wearables, smart sensors, and consumer electronics such as toys and toothbrushes. The more industrial uses could be in asset monitoring tags and labels. There is a wide range of medical device uses, especially in the connected medical device space.

The XG27 family of SoCs is made up of the BG27, which is Bluetooth enabled, and the MG27 which supports Zigbee, as well as other proprietary protocols. The SoC is running an Arm Cortex M33 processor and both systems have some common features.

  • Integrated Coulomb Counter
  • Wafer level chip scale packaging
  • Advanced security when used with Silicon Labs Secure Vault
  • Shelf Mode
  • Integrated DCDC boost

A medical device manufacturer, Lura Health is already using the SoC in a tiny device that goes in the mouth, rather than the wrist or skin. The Alpha program for the BG27 enables the device to be glued to a tooth. The company claims the device collects data for dentists that can diagnose over 1000 health conditions.

The BB50 8-bit MCU is said to reduce the costs and complexity of designs while increasing flexibility. The MCU in the BB5x family of devices is aimed at the connected and non-connected devices in the IoT spectrum. While IoT is always thought to be connected, sometimes it is not necessary. The BB5x line of MCUs addresses several problems in the non-connected sector.

The problems arise when consumer products like electric toothbrushes have a connected and non-connected version. Some people just don’t want the connected versions. This can cause an SKU sprawl problem, needing a whole different design for the non-connected device. Then there are a whole series of devices that would need a processor regardless of whether or not it is connected, such as keypads, LED lighting, drones, toys, and any device with a flashing light or motor.

The BB50 MCU addresses the issues with non-connected devices with features that help the designer.

  • High-performance core
  • Wide operating voltages and low-power battery modes
  • Hundreds of firmware examples to choose from
  • Various package types and options
  • Common tools and software for 8-bit and 32-bit types

To find out more about the BB50 MCU and xG27 SoC, visit the product pages listed below

BB5x Microcontroller

BG27 System on Chip

Silicon Labs | silabs.com

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For the past 8 years, I have been writing about embedded technologies, added to my technical, academic, and medical editorial experience, with companies like Elsevier and Cambridge University Press. I tell people to read what I write, not try to pronounce my last name. I am always available for comments and suggestions you can reach me at product-editor@circuitcellar.com and I promise I will take the time to reach back out to you. I live in the North East with my wonderful family.

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New SoC and MCU from Silicon Labs are made for Small Form Factor …

by Stephen Vicinanza time to read: 2 min