Cortex-M33 rules (redux)
SiliconLabs continues the celebration of the Cortex-M33 that started last month, this time with a robust portfolio of BTLE and Thread/Zigbee devices doubling the range and the core performance of the previous Gecko generation. NXP on its end pushed voice assistance software on the existing i.MX RT1060 to support the growing trend of home voice assistants.
We are migrating this section this month to Microchip… Bye bye Atmel products.
As usual, there were additional VAO (automotive grade) parts added (28) but also a good number of PIC32MZ1064/2025 added, the latter with support for DDR2 SDRAM either embedded or external.
NXP launched the i.MX RT106A, an application specific variant of the i.MX RT1060 focused on cloud based embedded voice applications. The Cortex-M7 runs at 600 MHz and embeds NXP’s turnkey voice assistant software solutions, which may include:
- Far-field audio front end softDSP
- Acoustic echo cancellation
- Ambient noise reduction
- Playback processing
- Wake-word inference engine
- Media player/streamer
- MQTT, lwIP, TLS
- Discovery and onboarding
- All drivers, including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth™
It is shaking at SiliconLabs this month with the release of the Gecko 2 incarnated by the Mighty Gecko 2 and the Blue Gecko 2. Essentially the same IC focused on the 2.4GHz band, they use different low level code to support on one hand a pure Bluetooth Low Energy (GFSK) interface and on the other GFSK/O-QPSK, adding Thread and ZigBee.
Both use a 80MHz Cortex-M33 core fitted with the security bells and whistles required to properly secure IoT applications including a true RNG compliant with NIST SP 800-90A/B/C and AIS-31, Secure Debug control and boot that ensures authentic firmware and OTA updates.
Compared to its -1 sibling, performance has more than doubled (40 to 80 MHz and M4 to M33), with 3 more dB of sensitivity, a slightly increased TX power consumption while peripherals remained largely the same except for the DAC that dissapeared on the -2.
Cypress has only minor changes this month.
ST added a few parts across the board and also removed close to 20 parts of the STM32H7 with extended temperature (+105C).
TI has now put a number of wireless devices out of preview and into active status: CC1312R1F3RGZR, CC1312R1F3RGZT, CC1352R1F3RGZR, CC1352R1F3RGZT and CC2642R1FRGZR.
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