Second generation of wireless processors introduced with baked in security hardware

Silicon Labs announced launch of Wireless Gecko platform, Series 2, the products are based around Arm’s Cortex-M33, in 80MHz form, that includes TrustZone virtualisation hardware to separate secure and non-secure software.

“Series 2 improves multiple design elements, including wireless performance, software reuse, RF communication reliability and enhanced security to speed development, deployment and adoption of the IoT,” said Silicon Labs IoT general manager Matt Johnson.

So far, there are two base models in the series: EFR32MG21 that supports Zigbee, Thread and Bluetooth mesh networking – the MG in the middle indicating that this is branded Mighty Gecko. Then Series 2 also includes Blue Gecko devices – EFR32BG21 base number – that cover Bluetooth Low Energy and Bluetooth mesh – data sheets for the Mighty versions can be freely downloaded, while Blue versions need some form of sign-in procedure.

In both Blue and Mighty cases, versions are available with up to 1Mbyte flash and 96kbyte ram. All devices can throttle down to -20dBm output, while some peak at +10dBm and others at +20dBm.

Up to +20dBm output power is available, and up to +124.5dB link budget, and active current is 50.9 µA/MHz – the process is 40nm.

Packages go down to 4 x 4 mm QFN package, and pre-certified modules including the chips are planned for Q3.

Secure by design, is the claim from Silicon Labs, as there is a true random number generator, secure boot loading  – for firmware images and over-the-air updates – and secure debug access control which “helps OEMs prevent unauthorised access to end products”, said the firm.

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