Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Get IoT applications up and running in a day

Steve Rogerson
September 27, 2018



Silicon Labs believes it can help developers get IoT applications connected and running in a day, with no software development necessary. The Texas company’s Wireless Xpress module provides a configuration-based development experience with everything developers need including certified Bluetooth 5 Low Energy and wifi modules, integrated protocol stacks and tools.
 
“By using Bluetooth and wifi Wireless Xpress, developers can move from product concept to prototyping in a matter of hours instead of weeks,” said Matt Johnson, senior vice president at Silicon Labs. “Wireless Xpress greatly reduces the design learning curve without compromising sophisticated Bluetooth or wifi functionality. Developers will spend less time learning how to add wireless connectivity to their IoT devices and more time designing innovative, distinctive products and getting them to market ahead of the competition.”
 
With on-board wireless stacks controlled through a high-level Xpress command API for setup and control, the devices require only modest resources from a host processor, enabling developers to add wireless connectivity to any microcontroller.
 
Bluetooth and wifi IoT products based on Wireless Xpress can be remotely managed and updated over the air using native device management features. With the firm’s Zentri device management service, end users can install and update firmware, view real-time device health metrics and adjust product settings through mobile apps.
 
To ease the complexity of adding Bluetooth or wifi connectivity to mobile applications, it includes a mobile app software development kit for Android and iOS. The mobile app framework comprises examples and libraries and offers simple communications and over-the-air APIs to accelerate app development and simplify wireless design for mobile platforms.
 
Wireless Xpress takes advantage of the company’s Gecko OS, an intuitive IoT operating system that accelerates the development of market-ready connected products. It plans to offer additional Gecko OS-based products in the future.
 
Bluetooth LE Xpress highlights include:

  • Bluetooth 5 BGX13 module requiring no firmware development;
  • Zero-overhead serial-to-Bluetooth cable replacement;
  • Smartphone app for Bluetooth LE command, control and sensing;
  • Secure connections with encrypted communications, bonding and passkey pairing; and
  • Suitable for smart home products requiring Bluetooth control with a mobile app and adding a point-to-point wireless interface to industrial applications.
Wifi Xpress highlights include:
  • Streamlines cloud connectivity with low-power wifi modules and software;
  • Supports cloud vendors including Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure;
  • Integrated web app enabling browser-based user interfaces; and
  • Suitable for applications such as home appliances, wireless sensing, thermostats, IP cameras and health monitoring requiring direct internet access and remote provisioning and updates.
The Bluetooth LE BGX13P and BGX13S modules are available in a choice of pre-certified PCB and SiP modules, respectively, with integrated antenna options. The wifi AMW007 and AMW037 PCB modules are also available. Module pricing begins at $4.09 in 10,000-unit quantities. Wireless Xpress evaluation kits are available and priced at $40.
 
Developers can download the Wireless Xpress SDK with code examples through Simplicity Studio. Wireless Xpress mobile apps for Android and iOS are available.