Silicon Labs Announces Series 3 Embedded Platform for Smarter IoT, ML

By Ken Briodagh

Senior Technology Editor

Embedded Computing Design

August 25, 2023


Silicon Labs Announces Series 3 Embedded Platform for Smarter IoT, ML

Silicon Labs, a company best known for its integrated hardware and software platform, recently hosted its fourth annual virtual Works With Developers Conference, which covered connectivity, security, AI/ML and many other key IoT-enablement technologies. At the show, the company announced its next-generation Series 3 platform, which is designed specifically for embedded IoT devices.

With this new generation, Silicon Labs is moving to the 22 nanometer (nm) process node with the goal of improving compute, wireless performance, energy efficiency, and security architected directly to the silicon, according to the announcement. The company also announced the next version of its developer tool suite, Simplicity Studio, which is designed with key integrated development environments (IDEs).

In the release, Matt Johnson, CEO, Silicon Labs, said the Series 3 “…is built for a more connected world that demands development flexibility and that more intelligence be pushed to the edge.”

We spoke to Silicon Labs CTO Daniel Cooley, who specifically called out the intelligence of the platform. “Series 3 is going to add a lot more compute for applications and for machine learning,” he said. “What we’re seeing in the markets right now is a convergence of embedded products.” Seeing that trend coming, he asked, “Why don’t we look at putting the MPU and the wireless together on one SoC?” The answer was Series 3.

While the introduction of Series 3 does not herald the sunsetting of Series 1 or 2, Cooley said, Series 3 devices reportedly will be able keep up with the fast-moving growth of IoT, and the challenges that come with it. Solving problems like the ever-increasing need for processing power at the edge and the demand for portable, secure, high-power applications with big computing chops to handle data are where Series 3 is designed to shine.

The company says that Series 3 devices will use power intelligently to add years to battery life, be among the most secure devices in the IoT ecosystem, bring more than 100x processing capability over previous generations, including integrated AI/ML accelerators. All this, they say, will enable the consolidation of system processing into wireless SoCs.

“Everything’s been building to Edge computing MCUs for years,” Cooley said. “Anywhere an MCU needs to live, it can live now. Going forward they’ll be exchanging data with these devices forever.”

Series 3 sounds like a heavy-lifting Swiss army knife of a platform and it’s going to be exciting to see the case studies line up.

Ken Briodagh is a writer and editor with two decades of experience under his belt. He is in love with technology and if he had his druthers, he would beta test everything from shoe phones to flying cars. In previous lives, he’s been a short order cook, telemarketer, medical supply technician, mover of the bodies at a funeral home, pirate, poet, partial alliterist, parent, partner and pretender to various thrones. Most of his exploits are either exaggerated or blatantly false.

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