New Bluetooth SoC and MCU for small form-factor devices

Silicon Labs has released two new IC families developed for the smallest form factor IoT devices: the xG27 family of Bluetooth SoCs and the BB50 MCU.

Created for the smallest IoT devices, the xG27 and BB50 families vary in size from 2mm-squared, about the width of a #2 pencil lead, to 5mm-squared, less than the width of a standard #2 pencil. These provide IoT device designers with high performance, energy efficiency, trusted security, and wireless connectivity, in the case of the xG27 family. This makes the xG27 SoC family and BB50 MCU perfect for small, battery-optimised devices such as connected medical devices, asset monitoring tags, smart sensors, wearables, simple consumer electronics like toothbrushes and toys, and more.

“Silicon Labs is the pure-play IoT leader, and our breadth, depth, and focus enable us to support the broadest range of wireless connectivity protocols of any Semiconductor company,” said Silicon Labs CEO Matt Johnson. “The xG27 SoCs and BB50 MCUs are helping developers build exciting new devices while also simplifying their development processes, all while maintaining the low-power and small form-factor requirements for extremely small devices.”

The new family of SoCs comprises the BG27 for Bluetooth connectivity, and the MG27, supporting Zigbee and other proprietary protocols. Constructed around the ARM Cortex M33 processor, they share several common features developed to make them the ideal SoC for small form-factor devices.

Lura Health, a medical device manufacturer and participant in the Alpha program for BG27, selected the new SoC to form the foundation of its new in-development smart wearable. But unlike some of the most common wearables on the wrist or other external skin, the new monitor goes in a person’s mouth. Specifically, the device is so small that it is glued to a tooth. With the device, dentists and other clinicians can collect important data from saliva, which is used to test for over 1,000 health conditions.

“The BG27 is amazing because it’s small enough that we can develop an IoT sensor smaller than a tooth, the power consumption is low enough to remove battery life as a product constraint, it has enough memory to store a sophisticated firmware application, it allows us to perform the data analysis required to gain insightful information from what we are monitoring, and it has all the peripherals we need to interface with our sensors,” said Noah Hill, co-founder and CTO of Lura Health. “We spent hundreds of hours searching for a microcontroller that meets our needs, and the BG27 is the only solution that checks every box.”