Dev Kit Weekly: Silicon Labs’ EFR32FG25 Pro Kit
May 05, 2023
We have returned from last week’s brief intermission to further discuss my favorite topic: wireless IoT connectivity kits. While it may seem like I’m beating a dead horse here, this one is a bit different from the rest: it deals specifically in the sub-GHz protocols used in places like Wi-SUN, Sidewalk, WM-BUS, and more. I’m talking about the EFR32FG25 Pro Kit from Silicon Labs.
(Image credit: aboutamazon.com)
The bigger board that makes up the base is a BRD4002A Wireless Pro Kit Mainboard, which includes features like an advanced energy monitor, a logic analyzer, a virtual COM port, and Ethernet and USB connectivity ports. There’s also an onboard Segger J-Link debugger, a humidity and temperature sensor, a low-power 128x128 pixel memory LCD, and even support for a CR2032 coin cell battery. Of course, we can’t ignore all the pin headers and breakout pads for connecting other boards and various I/O.
In fact, you could use those pins to plug in a board like the BRD4271A EFR32FG25 Radio Board. It houses the 16 decibel milliwatt EFR32FG25 Wireless Gecko SoC, which includes 1920 kB of Flash with an additional 512 kB of RAM. This SoC is designed for wireless IoT applications like smart metering and building automation, and includes Wi-SUN Multi-rate OFDM, FSK, and O-QPSK modulation schemes that enable the SoC to reach data rates up to 3.6 Mbps while remaining immune to interference from the 2.4 GHz band. And, in such public IoT applications as smart cities, additions like Secure VaultTM can help maintain system security.
The radio board also includes an integrated Sub-GHz radio transceiver that can transmit 863-870 MHz via an SMA antenna connector. Additionally, the board features 8 Mbit of low-power serial flash, which enables OTA upgrades. Aside from the two connected boards, the EFR32FG25 Pro Kit also comes with an 868 MHz dipole antenna and a 150 mm 10-pin flat cable.
To get started with developing and programming your sub-GHz IoT applications with the EFR32FG25 Pro Kit, you’ll be using version 5 of Silicon Labs’ Simplicity Studio. The kit’s product page includes installer links for Windows, Mac, and Linux systems. Once Simplicity Studio is set up, you can then plug your kit in and start downloading the SDKs you need. There are several available to assist with tasks from direction finding and Bluetooth Mesh configurator to a network analyzer and a proprietary radio configurator.
Simplicity Studio’s version 5 user guide includes software and hardware configuration tools, plenty of info about using the Simplicity IDE — which includes compilers, code editors, and debuggers — instructions for developing on 8-bit or 32-bit devices, testing and debugging, and much more.
So, if you’re interested in getting one of these for yourself, they’re available to order from Silicon Labs for $213.66. Of course, you can also always enter this week’s raffle, embedded below, for a chance to win one for free. Good luck!