Wireless IDE allows concurrent MCU & RF design

23rd February 2015
Barney Scott

Silicon Labs has introduced the next generation of Simplicity Studio, the industry’s first MCU/wireless IDE enabling concurrent MCU and RF design for a wide range of IoT applications. This software release adds support for Silicon Labs’ 8-bit EFM8 MCU family, EZR32 sub-GHz wireless MCUs and EM35xx Ember ZigBee wireless SoCs, the most widely used 2.4GHz connectivity solution in the 802.15.4 mesh networking market.

Simplicity Studio simplifies the process of developing IoT applications by providing MCU and wireless developers with one-click access to everything they need to complete their projects, from initial concept to final product, in a unified software environment. Simplicity Studio includes an Eclipse-based IDE, graphical configuration tools, energy profiling tools, network analysis tools, demos, software examples, documentation, technical support and community forums. All of these integrated features combine to make embedded development simple and productive for IoT developers.

Simplicity Studio offers built-in intelligence to automatically detect the connected 8-bit or 32-bit MCU or wireless IC, graphically configure the device, and show supported configuration options to help developers get their projects up and running in minutes. Simplicity Studio is a contextually aware development environment that provides developers with product information that is relevant to their project. Integrated real-time energy profiling and network packet analyser tools also enable developers to create robust networks and energy-efficient wireless nodes and to enhance energy consumption for optimal battery life and size.

Concurrent MCU and wireless design within the same development environment helps customers save time and effort by eliminating context switching during the embedded design process. Embedded developers can use the integrated Simplicity Studio IDE for rapid application development of target applications based on EZR32 wireless MCUs, Ember ZigBee wireless SoCs and 8/32-bit MCUs. The IDE supports enhanced usability features such as full integration of the wireless embedded software framework, intelligent code completion, and compatibility with other value-added extensions available from the Eclipse ecosystem.

Silicon Labs also provides the Keil PK51 build tools for 8-bit 8051 MCUs at no charge. GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) build tools are included for EFM32 Gecko MCU designs while EZR32 designs use the IAR EWARM compiler with Silicon Labs’ wireless stacks. Developers who prefer to use their own IDE can launch Keil µVision or IAR Embedded Workbench through Simplicity Studio by configuring their “preferred IDE.”

“Embedded development in the IoT age is an increasingly complex endeavor, especially when developing ultra-low-power, wireless-enabled connected devices,” said Daniel Cooley, vice president of MCU and wireless products at Silicon Labs. “Fractured tool chains also place a growing training and overhead burden on embedded developers, particularly for IoT projects that require MCU, wireless and sensor components. Our new version of Simplicity Studio dramatically simplifies the design process by enabling IoT developers to concurrently work with MCUs and wireless devices in the same unified environment.”

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