Silicon Labs deploys the first Bluetooth Mesh solution for IoT developers

Just days after we reported on the announcement of Bluetooth Mesh, Silicon Labs has become the first to introduce a comprehensive suite of software and hardware which supports the new specification.

As we noted in our previous article, Bluetooth Mesh has all the right ingredients to enable Bluetooth to become a key wireless standard due to its low-power, ubiquitousness, and now with extended range. While it can be supported on any existing devices which feature Bluetooth 4.0 or later, it will be up to manufacturers to update them.

“Bluetooth is the next frontier in mesh networking, and Silicon Labs’ new Bluetooth mesh software and tools keep us at the forefront of this rapidly emerging ‘many-to-many’ network topology,” said Richard Baxter, President and CEO of Mesh Systems, an IoT software, services and solution provider. “From easy-to-use development kits to mobile applications that help us connect devices seamlessly, we rely on Silicon Labs’ deep expertise in mesh technology to give us the hardware and software resources we need to increase productivity and speed development time so our customers can better compete in today’s IoT race.”

The quick support from Silicon Labs is hopefully a sign Bluetooth Mesh will gain some momentum. Silicon Labs’ solution consists of development tools, a software stack, and mobile apps which support the company’s wireless system-on-chip (SoC) devices and certified modules.

Using Silicon Labs’ solution, designers can:

Accelerate time to market: Their users can choose from a variety of wireless modules and SoCs, including the world’s smallest Bluetooth system-in-package (SiP) module (BGM11S) and the latest EFR32BG13 Blue Gecko SoCs. Modules with integrated antennas provide a fast, cost-effective means to design Bluetooth mesh-enabled products. Blue Gecko SoCs offer large memory options to support over-the-air (OTA) updates, as well as advanced features such as hardware security acceleration, capacitive sensing, low-power sensor interfaces, and enhanced RF performance.

Simplify development: Silicon Labs’ mobile application for smartphones allows designers to verify the operation of Bluetooth mesh-based implementations with a commercially supported Bluetooth mesh library and source code to streamline design.

Be more productive: Optimise mesh networking device designs with Silicon Labs’ Simplicity Studio software tools including patented network analysis and packet trace technology, energy profiling, and visual application configuration. Software compatibility across a portfolio of wireless SoCs and modules enables broad software reuse and reduced development time and cost.

“We expect to see a wave of new devices hit the market quickly by leveraging ubiquitous Bluetooth connectivity to create hub-less mesh networks that extend the range and reliability of Bluetooth systems,” said Daniel Cooley, Senior Vice President and General Manager of IoT products at Silicon Labs. “No matter which mesh technology developers choose to power their next IoT designs, we offer a complete portfolio of silicon, software, and solutions that gives device makers everything they need to accelerate time to market while designing secure, robust mesh networks.”

Silicon Labs’ vast experience with mesh networks makes it the perfect ally for Bluetooth Mesh. The company has shipped more than 100 million mesh networking SoCs and modules to date and has more than 15 years of experience in developing standards-based mesh networking solutions for customers worldwide.

What are your thoughts on Silicon Labs’ launch of the first Bluetooth Mesh solution? Let us know in the comments.

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