Silicon Labs and RFaxis team up on Internet of Things solutions

Metering and Smart Energy : Amy Ryan | July 29, 2015

In the US, fabless semiconductor companies RFaxis and Silicon Labs have partnered to develop chipset reference designs to address the Internet of Things and smart home markets.

The management of big data directly related to the Internet of Things in Connected Homes is forecast to become a US$7 billion market by 2020, according to Mind Commerce. This market opportunity is expected to grow at a CAGR of 27.7% through 2020

The solution will utilise RFaxis’ RF front-end reference designs that extend the reach and capabilities of Silicon Labs’ ZigBee and Thread EM35x mesh networking products.

Silicon Labs is a founding member of the Thread Group, a not-for-profit organisation responsible for market awareness of Thread networking protocol and certification of Thread products.

Thread is an IP-based wireless networking protocol providing connectivity for products in the home. According to Thread’s website, “product developers and consumers [can] easily and securely connect more than 250 devices into a low-power, wireless mesh network that supports seamless Internet and cloud access”.

Other founding members include ARM, Big Ass Fans, Freescale Semiconductor, Nest Labs, Samsung Electronics and Yale Security.

The organisation’s wireless connectivity targets a wide variety of products for the home including appliances, climate control, lighting, safety, security and access control.

Spurring Internet of Things development
According to a statement, California-based RFaxis will provide its RFX2401C and RFX2411 reference designs, which are integrated, single-chip, single-die RF front-end integrated circuits that incorporate all the RF functionality needed for IEEE 802.15.4/ZigBee, wireless sensor networks, the IP-based Thread mesh networking protocol and other wireless systems in the 2.4 GHz ISM band.

The reference designs can be used for high-power applications like home automation, smart house/smart living and smart power environments as the offer extended range, receiver sensitivity and bandwidth.

Says Greg Fyke, director of marketing for Internet of Things Wireless Products at Silicon Labs: “The RFaxis chipset reference designs provide our mutual customers with fully integrated and cost-effective RF front-ends to meet the needs of a wide variety of products in the connected home.”

Raymond Biagan, vice president of Worldwide Sales at RFaxis added: “The integrated technology that RFaxis provides combined with Silicon Labs’ chips, ZigBee or Thread software and development tools will help spur development of innovative and low-cost Internet of Things products by device makers. This collaboration enables innovations throughout the smart home industry.”