Next generation Series 3 platform to create a smarter, more efficient IoT
At its fourth annual Works With Developers Conference, Silicon Labs announced its next-generation Series 3 platform, purpose-built for embedded IoT devices.
With a move to the 22 nanometer (nm) process node, new Silicon Labs Series 3 devices will be designed to offer top compute, wireless performance, and energy efficiency with the highest levels of IoT security architected to the silicon. To help developers and device manufacturers streamline and accelerate product designs, Silicon Labs also announced the next version of its developer tool suite, Simplicity Studio. With support for Silicon Labs’ entire portfolio, including Series 3, Simplicity Studio 6 will allow developers to utilise some of the most favoured integrated development environments (IDEs) on the market, while giving developers the latest tools to support their continued development on Series 2 as they transition to Series 3.
“Our Series 3 platform is built for a more connected world that demands development flexibility and that more intelligence be pushed to the edge,” said Silicon Labs CEO Matt Johnson. “Series 3 not only meets the needs of developers and device manufacturers today but is built to meet their needs for the next decade.”
Series 3 platform brings new performance capabilities, efficiencies, and diversified supply chain
The initial Series 1 and current-gen Series 2 platforms continue to be successful in helping to scale the IoT, connect more and more devices, and open up new applications. In large part, this is because they formed a platform with many commonalities that developers could leverage, and Series 3 follows in the same mold.
Series 3 devices will be able to answer the challenges that the continued acceleration of IoT poses: demands for more processing power at far-edge devices like IoT sensors, cameras, blood glucose monitors, and the demand for increasingly portable, secure, compute-intensive applications. As a platform, new Series 3 devices are designed to be:
- More secure: Building on Silicon Labs’ industry-leading Secure Vault technology, the first security package to earn PSA Level 3 certification, Series 3 devices will include all the security features available on Series 2 devices with new enhancements to make them the most secure devices in the IoT marketplace
- More intelligent: With built-in AI/ML engines, Series 3 devices are architected to improve AI/ML application performance by more than 100x. For non-AI/ML workloads, other enhancements to compute capabilities are designed to drive up to 20x more available general-purpose processing performance, allowing integration of system MCUs into Silicon Labs wireless SoCs
- More power-efficient: Silicon Labs has a long history of building devices focused on battery-powered applications, where power conservation is essential for devices that can spend up to a decade in the field without a wired power source. By not only tapping the built-in AI/ML engine to optimise on-device power usage with machine learning as well as other proprietary improvements targeted towards critical power points, Series 3 is designed to add years to a device’s battery life, thereby helping to cut cords and increase portability for new IoT applications
- More scalable: Series 3 will be the only multi-radio IoT platform with a common code base for over 30 products across key wireless protocols including, but not limited to, Bluetooth LE, Wi-Fi, Wi-SUN, 15.4, multiprotocol, and proprietary protocols. This will allow developers to use one common set of tools to build applications and program countless devices
The move to 22nm and leveraging NVM memories and off-the-shelf IP blocks will also open significant foundry options for Silicon Labs. The past several years have included several events and trends that have put a strain on the semiconductor supply chain across the entire industry, and Silicon Labs hasn’t been immune. In an effort to minimise geographic risk and disruptions for customers, Series 3 will be produced in the US, EMEA, and Asia.
Silicon Labs Simplicity Studio 6 enhances developer tools with visual studio code support
Silicon Labs continues to invest in the developer experience for its customers including everything from documentation, partnerships with external tool providers, integrating new plug-ins and extensions into existing SDKs. Along with the Series 3 hardware, today Silicon Labs is also announcing Simplicity Studio 6, the latest version of its application development and productivity tools. Simplicity Studio 6 will bring the latest development tools to the entire Silicon Labs portfolio of devices, including Series 1 and Series 2, will giving developers a bridge to Series 3.
One of the most common pieces of developer feedback is that they don’t want to be locked into vendor-specific tools, and they increasingly want to leverage open-source communities and third-party applications to enhance their development capabilities. Because of this, the biggest and most impactful change to Simplicity Studio 6 is the decoupling of the IDE from our productivity tools. With the launch of Simplicity Studio 6, Silicon Labs is enabling developers to utilise some of the most requested IDEs in the industry and not be locked into a vendor-specific IDE.
“We recognise that development is not a one-size-fits-all approach,” said Michael Norman, Senior Product Manager of IoT Development at Silicon Labs. “That’s why we wanted to present developers with the most complete set of tools, support for an expansive universe of providers, and let them choose. We want to offer a great platform, tools, and support and get out of their way.”
In a move to fulfill that goal, Silicon Labs has announced an extension for Microsoft Visual Studio Code, the most popular tool for software development in the world today. This extension will enable Silicon Labs applications, new or existing, to be developed from within Visual Studio Code. A Beta release of the Silicon Labs extension is available for download today in the Visual Studio Code Marketplace that works with the latest version of Simplicity Studio 5.
In addition, to be a supportive partner in the development process, Silicon Labs today also revealed an expanded Developer Journey for Amazon Sidewalk as well as an all-new Matter Development Journey. Both provide the tools, documentation, hardware, and expert support needed for development in the two technologies, backed by Silicon Labs.
Silicon Labs Works With Developers Conference brings the best and brightest to discuss embedded IoT development
These announcements are being made during Silicon Labs’ fourth annual Works With Developer’s Conference. The free virtual conference takes place on August 22nd and 23rd, with sessions available on-demand shortly after their original broadcast. This year, Works With covers everything from Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to Matter and LPWAN and explores the latest developments in security and AI/ML. Those interested in joining on August 22nd and 23rd as well as those interested in watching the sessions on-demand at a later date can register for Works With 2023 here.