IoT connectivity portfolio cuts WiFi power consumption

23rd January 2019
Alex Lynn

The WiFi portfolio of modules and transceivers, enabling developers to create end node products with power efficiency, RF blocking performance and advanced security, has been expanded by Silicon Labs. Designed for the specific needs of IoT applications, the Wireless Gecko portfolio reportedly cuts WiFi power consumption in half.

This provides WiFi solutions for power-sensitive connected products, including battery-operated IP security cameras, point-of-sale scanners, asset trackers and personal medical devices.

“Our WiFi portfolio enables IoT product designs that weren’t possible until now,” said Matt Johnson, Senior Vice President and General Manager of IoT products at Silicon Labs. “IoT developers now have a WiFi solution that is truly optimised for their application requirements and addresses their major concerns around power, RF performance, size and security.”

The combination of transmit current (TX: 138 mA), receive current (RX: 48 mA) and sleep current (<40 µA) enables power-saving advantages for all IoT use cases. High throughput and fewer retransmissions help minimise power consumption by using less channel capacity.

The WiFi portfolio offers an array of built-in security features to protect IoT products from online and physical hacking, including secure boot with anti-rollback, secure link and efficient implementations of industry-standard encryption such as WPA3.

Silicon Labs designed its WiFi devices with excellent RF selectivity to block out adjacent channel noise and maintain throughput and connectivity in crowded RF environments such as smart homes with numerous connected devices.

Gecko OS, an optional, feature-packed IoT operating system, eases design complexity, allowing IoT developers to focus on their WiFi applications. Developers can get started in minutes using comprehensive development tools and a wireless starter kit with embedded and Linux host drivers. The WiFi modules are pre-certified for worldwide operation to reduce development time, effort and risk.

Silicon Labs’ comprehensive, flexible WiFi portfolio includes three device types: 

  • The WGM160P module expands design possibilities and offers an easier way to create cloud-connected IoT products by combining an onboard Gecko microcontroller, host support, integrated antenna, precertification, large memory (2MB flash and 512K RAM), and extensive peripheral capabilities including Ethernet and capacitive touch.
  • The WFM200 module is the smallest pre-certified WiFi system-in-package (SiP) device with an integrated antenna, making it a perfect fit for space-constrained designs. The module also opens up new industrial and outdoor applications with 105 oC temperature support.
  • The WF200 transceiver IC provides a cost-effective way to add WiFi to existing high-volume designs, works well with a variety of hosts (ranging from 8-bit to Linux-class processors) and supports antenna diversity.

Samples and production quantities of the WF200 transceiver in a four by four millimetre QFN32 package are available now.

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