Silicon Labs reduces cost and complexity of voice-enabled ZigBee remotes

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Beijing, China – October 12, 2015 – Silicon Labs (Silicon Labs, NASDAQ: SLAB), a leading provider of microcontrollers, sensors, and wireless connectivity solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT), today announced the launch of an industry-leading The most cost-effective, voice-enabled ZigBee® remote control solution. This complete reference design solution significantly reduces the often required high-cost external hardware by implementing a high-quality software-based audio codec in a single-chip wireless SoC. The new software codec is a key part of Silicon Labs’ small-form-factor reference design for voice-enabled, ZigBee-based, and proprietary Top) boxes and connected home products bring powerful voice control capabilities.

Silicon Labs reduces cost and complexity of voice-enabled ZigBee remotes

Silicon Labs reduces cost and complexity of voice-enabled ZigBee remotes

As IoT “devices” become more intelligent and connectable, it becomes increasingly difficult to incorporate richer user interfaces into small form factor devices. Voice-enabled is changing the way we control and operate connected devices by providing easier, hands-free ways to search, browse and experience content and services. By combining powerful Voice-over-RF (Voice-over-RF) technology with cloud-based voice recognition technology, voice-enabled remote controls liberate people from traditional infrared (IR) remote controls that are restricted by line of sight and buttons. Silicon Labs’ innovative voice codec technology and complete reference designs simplify the entire process of designing a truly smart remote control.

Silicon Labs’ new ZigBee Remote Control (ZRC) reference design provides all the hardware and software needed to develop a full-featured, voice-enabled remote control. Based on Silicon Labs’ EM34x wireless SoC and ZRC 2.0 Gold Cell certified software stack, this reference design provides an industry-standard approach to implementing interoperable, low-power RF remote controls. The reference design includes complete RF layout and design files, accelerometer sensor for backlight control, buzzer for find me remote control functionality, support for IR control, digital microphone and the ability to transmit voice commands over RF.

Silicon Labs built a reference design to support voice control, either using an external hardware codec or the company’s software codec technology. The hardware codec reduces the processing load on the EM34x SoC, while the software codec increases the CPU load for minimal bill of materials (BOM) cost. Both design options meet the stringent voice quality requirements of the leading provider of cloud-based speech recognition software.

“As a leading provider of ZigBee chips and software solutions for the Internet of Things, Silicon Labs has successfully helped thousands of wireless developers simplify and accelerate their RF designs,” said Daniel Cooley, vice president of IoT product marketing at Silicon Labs. The growing trend of voice control in the home is exciting, and we have developed a complete reference design that reduces cost and complexity in building voice-enabled ZigBee remotes for a wide range of connected home products.”

Two new Silicon Labs development kits are available now for voice-enabled reference designs:

· EM34X-VREVK Voice Remote Evaluation Kit: This basic kit features a pre-programmed device and a simple GUI that demonstrates remote control capabilities including RF, voice commands, and traditional IR.

EM34X-VRDK Voice Remote Development Kit: Provides an “out of the box” design experience, this full-featured kit simplifies remote and target device development, comes with EM34x voice-enabled remote, USB flash drive, EM34x Development board, EM34x wireless module and ISA3 debug adapter.

Silicon Labs’ EM34x wireless SoC is the heart of the reference design, handling all remote control functions. The EM34x SoCs offer unmatched performance, low power and code density, and feature a single-chip design based on the industry’s best-selling ZigBee mesh networking SoC architecture. The SoC integrates a 2.4GHz IEEE 802.15.4 transceiver, ARM® Cortex®-M3 processor, flash memory, RAM and peripherals. The transceiver’s efficient architecture provides a 110dB link budget and can provide a reliable link for ZRC applications without an external power amplifier (PA) or low noise amplifier (LNA). The integrated receive channel filter and multi-level retry function enable coexistence with other 2.4GHz standard devices such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Silicon Labs’ complete wireless development tools provide the fastest path to developing ZRC-certified remote control products. The AppBuilder tool enables developers to configure remote control applications using a set of easy-to-use plug-ins that support key features, such as keyboard drivers, LEDs, accelerometers, and voice control. Silicon Labs also offers the Desktop Network Analyzer, which is not a traditional wireless sniffer, but provides users with a complete view of all wireless network activity by using the packet trace port on the EM34x wireless SoC.

Price and Availability

Silicon Labs’ ZigBee Remote Control Development Kit is available now. The EM34X-VREVK Voice Remote Evaluation Kit is priced at $249. The EM34X-VRDK Voice Remote Development Kit is priced at $399. Silicon Labs’ EM34x SoCs are in mass production and are available for samples, with unit prices starting at $1.68 in 10,000-unit quantities. Software development tools and ZRC 2.0 certified software are freely available to developers. Developers can download software codecs from Silicon Labs’ ZigBee Remote Product Portal.

About Silicon Labs

Silicon Labs Corporation (NASDAQ: SLAB) is a leading provider of chips, software and system solutions in the Internet of Things, Internet infrastructure, industrial control, consumer electronics and automotive markets. We solve the challenges of the electronics industry and bring customers significant advantages in performance, energy saving, connectivity and minimalist design. Silicon Labs’ world-class engineering team with exceptional software and mixed-signal design experience provides designers with the tools and technologies needed to quickly and easily turn initial ideas into final products.

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