Silicon Labs’ Wireless Xpress development solution provides everything a developer needs to prototype Bluetooth and Wi-Fi IoT products
By Gina Roos, editor-in-chief
Silicon Labs unveiled a new Wireless Xpress solution that claims that developers can get prototype IoT applications running in one day without software development. Designed to make Bluetooth 5 and Wi-Fi connectivity easy, the configuration-based development solution includes everything that developers need — Bluetooth 5 Low Energy (LE) and Wi-Fi modules, integrated protocol stacks, and easy-to-use tools — to move from product concept to prototyping.
“By using Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Wireless Xpress, developers can move from product concept to prototyping in a matter of hours instead of weeks,” said Matt Johnson, senior vice president and general manager of IoT products at Silicon Labs, in a statement. “Wireless Xpress greatly reduces the design learning curve without compromising sophisticated Bluetooth or Wi-Fi 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.”
Key features of Bluetooth LE Xpress:
- Bluetooth 5 BGX13 module requires no firmware development
- Zero-overhead serial-to-Bluetooth cable replacement solution
- Smartphone app for Bluetooth LE command, control, and sensing
- Secure connections with encrypted communication, bonding, and passkey pairing
- Applications include smart home products requiring Bluetooth control with a mobile app and adding a point-to-point wireless interface to industrial applications
Key features of Wi-Fi Xpress:
- Streamlines cloud connectivity with low-power Wi-Fi modules and software
- Supports cloud vendors including Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure
- Integrated web app enabling browser-based user interfaces
- Applications include home appliances, wireless sensing, thermostats, IP cameras, and health monitoring requiring direct internet access and remote provisioning and updates
The Xpress devices only use “modest resources” from the host processor, which allows developers to add wireless connectivity to any microcontroller. The products based on the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Xpress modules can be remotely managed and updated over the air using native device management. End users can install and update firmware, view real-time device health metrics, and adjust product settings through the mobile apps thanks to the Silicon Labs Zentri device management service (DMS).
Wireless Xpress also includes a mobile app SDK for Android and iOS, providing examples and libraries. The framework also provides simple communications and OTA APIs to accelerate app development and to make wireless design easier for mobile platforms, said the company.
Available now, the Bluetooth LE BGX13P and BGX13S modules offer a choice of pre-certified PCB and SiP modules, respectively, with integrated antenna options. The Wi-Fi AMW007 and AMW037 PCB modules are also available now. Silicon Labs said that it plans to offer additional Gecko OS-based products and solutions in the future.
Module pricing starts at $4.09 in 10,000-unit quantities. Wireless Xpress evaluation kits are priced at $40 (MSRP).