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Silicon Labs’ Ultra-Low-Cost BG22 Explorer Kit

Jari Haiston in Blogs on February 02, 2022

About Jari Haiston

Jari Haiston is part of the growing digital marketing team at Symmetry Electronics. Jari comes from a background in technical writing and event coordination. In her current role, she specializes in content creation and social media management. Jari's focus as a writer is to create interesting content that is accessible to any audience.
Silicon-Labs'-BG22-Explorer-Kit-Is-Available-At-Symmetry-Electronics

Founded in 1996, Silicon Labs is a global supplier of sustainable IoT solutions in the commercial, industrial, home, and medical industries. Awarded Most Respected Company four years in a row (2015 - 2019) by the Global Semiconductor Alliance, Silicon Labs celebrated their 25th anniversary in 2021 and is committed to providing their customers with energy-efficient, innovative, environmentally friendly, and responsible wireless technology. Over the last few years, Silicon Labs has been releasing their series 2 portfolio and with that came the EFR32BG22 Wireless Gecko System-on-Chip (SoC) that features enhanced wireless performance, industry-leading security features, low power consumption, and essential software tools and stacks. Designed for the evaluation of the BG22 SoC–the BG22-EK4108A Explorer Kit is a cost-effective solution focused on rapid prototyping and concept creation for Bluetooth LE (BLE) applications.

  • Packet Trace Interface (PTI) that offers essential debug information regarding transmitted and received packets in wireless links. 
  • Hardware add-on support to enable developers to create and prototype applications through off-the-shelf boards from mikroE, sparkfun, AdaFruit, and Seeed Studios.
  • Packet Trace Interface (PTI) that offers essential debug information regarding transmitted and received packets in wireless links. 
  • Hardware add-on support to enable developers to create and prototype applications through off-the-shelf boards from mikroE, sparkfun, AdaFruit, and Seeed Studios.

BG22 Bluetooth® SoC Explorer Kit

Silicon Labs’ BG22 Explorer Kit (Figure 1) is an economical, small form factor development and evaluation platform for BLE connected IoT applications. Based on Silicon Labs’ BG22 SoC, the BG22 Explorer Kit incorporates Bluetooth 5.2, while also supporting Bluetooth Mesh and Direction Finding. The kit boasts high-performance security layers with Secure Boot with RTLS integration. The BG22 Explorer Kit is equipped with a 2.4 GHz matching network and a chip antenna, 76.8 MHz maximum operating frequency, ARM® Cortex®-M33 with 512 kB of flash and 32 kB RAM, 38.4 MHz HFXO crystal, and 32.768 kHz LFXO crystal.

Figure 1: BG22 Explorer Kit hardware layout

Source: Silicon Labs

BG22 Explorer Kit Key Features and Specifications:

Designed at breadboard dimensions with power-efficient applications in mind, the BG22-EK4108A features:

  • 20-pin 2.54 mm breakout pads that allow for convenient connection of external peripherals containing I/O pins. Capable of being shared between breakout pads and other functions of the kit, the pins are compatible with most of the EFR32BG22 Wireless Gecko's features.
  • A mikroBUS™ socket (Figure 2) that can expand the functionality of the BG22 Explorer Kit through additional peripherals like LCDs and sensors. The kit’s mikroBUS socket supports mikroBUS add-on boards that interface with the EFR32BG22 through SPI, UART or I2C.

Figure 2BG22 Explorer Kit block diagram

Source: Silicon Labs

  • Qwiic® connector that can be used to connect hardware from the Qwiic Connect System through I2C.
  • SEGGER J-Link on-board debugger that transfers data through USB connection. While the debugger is not programmable by the user, the debugger is connected directly to debug and VCOM pins of the target.
  • Main power through debug USB cable (Figure 3) with a 5V power net on the USB bus that can be regulated down using a low-dropout regulator (LDO).
  • Packet Trace Interface (PTI) that offers essential debug information regarding transmitted and received packets in wireless links.
  • Hardware add-on support to enable developers to create and prototype applications through off-the-shelf boards from mikroE, sparkfun, AdaFruit, and Seeed Studios.

Figure 3: BG22 Explorer Kit main power topology

Source: Silicon Labs

Rapid prototyping is made easy with the BG22 Explorer Kit’s Board Support Package (BSP) and support from Simplicity Studio™–Silicon Lab’s development environment for their technologies, SoCs, and modules. Simplicity Studio’s unified software provides users with access to device-specific web and SDK resources, software/hardware configuration tools, and an integrated development environment (IDE) that features code editing, compiling, and debugging.

Common BG22 Exlorer Kit Applications

BLE-enabled designs are cost-effective design options and are easily maintained through their inherent low energy consumption. Key Features of BLE technology include its multi-vendor interoperability functionality, receiver sensitivity, and data integrity. BLE technology offers short-range connectivity on license-free 2.4 GHz frequency and can be used in a wide range of applications in Smart Home, Commercial, Consumer, and Industrial IoT (IIoT) industries like:

  • Indoor location tracking
  • Contact tracing
  • Wearables
  • Asset Tracking
  • Sensor Automation Systems
  • Smart lighting
  • Remotes
  • Wireless gateways
  • Portable medical
  • Beacons

Get started with Silicon Labs’ BG22 Explorer Kit

Silicon Labs’ BG22 Explorer Kit offers developers the ideal environment to rapidly create and prototype energy-efficient IoT applications. An ultra-low-cost evaluation platform for the BG22 Wireless Gecko SoC–the kit features hardware add-ons to enable compatibility with off-the-shelf boards from mikroE, sparkfun, AdaFruit, and Seeed Studios.

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Jari Haiston in Blogs on February 02, 2022

About Jari Haiston

Jari Haiston is part of the growing digital marketing team at Symmetry Electronics. Jari comes from a background in technical writing and event coordination. In her current role, she specializes in content creation and social media management. Jari's focus as a writer is to create interesting content that is accessible to any audience.
Tags: Wireless

Why partner with Symmetry Electronics? Symmetry's technical staff is specially trained by our suppliers to provide a comprehensive level of technical support. Our in-house Applications Engineers provide free design services to help customers early in the design cycle, providing solutions to save them time, money and frustration. Contact Symmetry for more information.

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