EFR32MG ZigBee Single-chip SoC solutions make your smart home products development easier than you ever imagined
【Summary】Recommended for use Silicon Labs’ new generation ZigBee series products EFR32MG in smart home applications. The EFR32MG has many application advantages such as adjustable up to 19.5dBm transmit power, internal integration of Barron and DC-DC, comes with Cortex M4 core, proven stable ZigBee protocol stack, graphical software development configuration interface, rich sample programs and Pin-Pin compatibility with EFR32BG Bluetooth series chips. The EFR32MG has many successful cases in smart home applications and is popular among engineers.
Silicon Labs’ new generation ZigBee series – EFR32MG, has been a favorite among smart home development companies since its introduction and is now a frontrunner for Silicon labs.
In comparison with similar products on the market, what are the advantages of the EFR32MG series in the use of smart homes?
1) Adjustable up to 19.5dBm transmit power.
The maximum adjustable transmit power of similar products on the market is only 5dBm, EFR32MG is the only single-chip SOC solution that can achieve a maximum adjustable output power of 19.5dBm. Previous smart home devices that want to achieve 19.5dBm transmit power need to add a PA, so if you use the EFR32MG will greatly save PCB board area and BOM costs. This solution is especially useful for large villas using smart home products.
2) Internal integration of Barron and DC-DC.
The EFR32MG integrates a single-ended and differential signal conversion barron on the 2.4G RF front-end, thus further reducing the RF circuit design difficulty and BOM cost. The SOC also has an integrated 3.3V DC-DC inside, which can provide a stable DC power supply for the EFR32MG’s internal PA. The following diagram is the RF front-end circuit diagram of EFR32MG series products.
Figure 1 EFR32MG series 2.4G RF front-end circuit
3) Comes with Cortex M4 core, 32KB RAM, 256KB Flash, and up to 31 GPIOs.
The previous ZigBee products are ordinary M0 MCU cores with poor computing power. And many similar products have small RAM and Flash resources and not enough GPIO ports. Therefore, the previous ZigBee products usually can only undertake the function of ZigBee wireless data transmission, while the EFR32MG series of products with its powerful MCU and its peripheral resources can independently complete the smart home data acquisition and various functional processing, such as ambient light acquisition, lighting color mixing, etc.
4) Proven and stable ZigBee protocol stack.
The ZigBee protocol stack of the EFR32MG series follows the ember protocol stack used in its predecessor, the EM357 and EM358x series. Products using the ember protocol stack are the only chip products in the Zigbee Alliance with examples of meter reading applications, and have been installed in a cumulative total of more than 20 million smart meters worldwide using Ember’s Zigbee technology, and are a key technology provider in the construction of the U.S. smart grid. In domestic use, many smart home equipment vendors eventually switched to EFR32MG to develop new smart home products because they found the protocol stack stability of Ember series ZigBee products much higher than similar products.
5) Pin-Pin compatible with EFR32BG Bluetooth series chip, and some models have supported ZigBee and Bluetooth dual-stack.
In practice, we found that some smart home device manufacturers will have Bluetooth and ZigBee dual series product development needs, and if they use the EFR32MG series to develop ZigBee, the workload for them to develop a set of BLE products at the same time will be greatly simplified. Hardware developers can use the same set of PCB boards, just need to replace the EFR32MG chip with a Pin-Pin BLE chip can be. Some EFR32MG series models can even support downloading the ZigBee protocol stack to run the ZigBee protocol, or downloading the BLE protocol stack to run the BLE protocol.
6) Graphical software development configuration interface.
The following figure is the software development interface of EFR32MG.
Figure 2 Software development interface of EFR32MG
7) Rich sample programs.
Silicon Labs offers rich sample programs, including up to a dozen complete sample programs in HA’s standard Gateway, Light, and Switch trios, greatly simplifying the development cycle for smart home products.
Figure 3 Excerpt of sample program provided by Silicon Labs
EFR32MG has been successfully developed and used in many smart home products, such as smart night light, smart home appliance 7-piece set, smart water heater light. In the use of these products, EFR32MG series products have sent a lot of convenience to engineers’ development, such as saving an MCU with the ambient light collection and light color mixing, saving the difficulty of 2.4G RF front-end design and debugging, while the rich sample program also brings great convenience to software engineers’ development. It has been well received by the software and hardware engineers of smart home development companies and procurement engineers.