Silicon Labs is a leader in secure, intelligent wireless technology for a more connected world. Its integrated hardware and software platform, intuitive development tools, ecosystem, and robust support make them an ideal long-term partner in building advanced industrial, commercial, home and life applications.
Daniel Cooley, CTO and SVP of Technology & Product Development, Silicon Labs, tells us more. Excerpts from an interview:
DQ: There are rising security concerns pertaining to connected devices. How is Silicon Labs working to make connected devices safe and secure?
Daniel Cooley: As a leader in secure and intelligent wireless technology, Silicon Labs aims to provide robust security solutions that address the specific challenges of connected devices. By integrating top-standard hardware and software, we help manufacturers and developers build connected devices that are immune to cyber threats and provide a safer and more secure IoT environment.
Providing security as its top priority, Silicon Lab’s boasts its security suite with Secure Vault and its state-of-the-art security features. Secure Vault is the first in the world to be PSA Certified Level 3 and provides protection against scalable local and remote software attacks. It reduces the risk of security breaches and data theft for IoT devices and significantly reduces the compromising of intellectual property, or revenue loss. Furthermore, our technology solutions are also tested by third-party laboratories to ensure ultimate security.
DQ: What are the specific tech initiatives being taken by Silicon Labs to ensure the security of its products?
Daniel Cooley: At Silicon Labs, we recognize the importance of secure protection of our customer, partner, and employee data and are committed to continuously strengthening our technology infrastructure and policies.
Our commitment to cutting-edge product security was exemplified when the company became the world's first pure-play semiconductor company to achieve PSA Certified Level 3, the highest level of IoT security protection. Silicon Labs has established a specialized team called the Product Security Incident Response Team (PSIRT) to address security concerns and flaws that may arise in their hardware and software products, manufacturing processes, and development services. This team is responsible for thoroughly examining and resolving any security vulnerabilities, and communicating the findings in a responsible manner.
Silicon Labs also organizes bug bounty programs, which employ crowd-sourced platforms like HackerOne, to incentivize hackers to identify and report security issues in specific products.
DQ: Please update us on Silicon Labs’ collaboration with Smart City Labs. How is it working towards creating secure Smart City solutions for India?
Daniel Cooley: Silicon Labs' array of intelligent wireless solutions play an integral role in building smart cities and smart industries that are energy efficient, sensor integrated, secure and sustainable. Our integrated Wi-SUN (Wireless Smart Utility Network) technology plays a significant role in facilitating the development and operation of smart cities. This wireless communication standard is specifically designed for large-scale IoT deployments, such as smart grid networks, advanced metering infrastructure, and intelligent transportation systems.
Silicon Labs is also a proud founding corporate partner of the Smart City Living Lab in collaboration with the IIIT- Hyderabad, government of Telangana, and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology India, where we support IoT development and smart city research that can be leveraged to both local and international IoT applications.
In May 2023, we visited India to inaugurate the Phase 2 Launch of Wi-SUN at Living Lab. It is a testament to our commitment toward rolling out top standard IoT solutions. This street-lighting application using Silicon Labs’ EFR32FG25 nodes, will provide connectivity to both battery-powered and line-powered devices.
DQ: What are Silicon Labs' plan for the Indian market after the announcement of office in Hyderabad last year?
Daniel Cooley: The diverse dynamics of the Indian market stand out for cutting-edge research and innovations for us, at Silicon Labs. We have broadened the wireless connectivity solutions to make them increasingly essential for everything -- from smart door locks to smart energy grids.
Our office at Hyderabad will be our largest R&D centre, and will function as a centre of excellence for developing integrated hardware and software platforms, offering approachable development tools, and creating an un-rivalled ecosystem of cutting-edge wireless technologies for our clients.
For the Indian market, we see smart metering as one of the fastest growing IoT sectors. Our recent launch of FG-25 SoC is an ideal solution to help address this growing demand with its ability to operate with minimal data loss in rural and urban densifying environments. The Living Lab in Hyderabad is our key focus to leverage IoT innovations for densifying smart city environments.
DQ: How has Silicon Labs' performance been, so far, this year?
Daniel Cooley: We understand that in the rapidly expanding world of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and ecosystems, product security and quality are of paramount importance to our customers. Silicon Labs’s engineering teams are constantly working to build the highest standard of IoT solutions that are energy efficient and deliver high performance and security to our customers.
We continue to deliver against our product roadmap, making excellent progress in expanding our Series 2 portfolio. This year announced the general availability of its flagship FG25 sub-Ghz SoC, which is ideal for smart cities with its ability to operate in long-range and low-power transmission. Earlier this year we also announced the launch and rapidly multiplying popularity of the new integrated circuit family designed for the smallest form factor IoT devices: the xG27 family of Bluetooth SoCs points out the potential for IoT growth.
In conjunction with the launch of Amazon Sidewalk, we announced the availability of our Pro Kit for Amazon Sidewalk, a comprehensive solution designed to simplify the development process, reduce costs, and accelerate time to revenue for Amazon Sidewalk devices. As one of Amazon Sidewalk’s only three qualified hardware partners for developing Amazon Sidewalk devices, our Pro Kit provides all the necessary tools for developing high-volume, scalable IoT applications
DQ: Elaborate on what are you doing with industrial IoT solutions. Have there been new deployments?
Daniel Cooley: Silicon Labs is organized into two distinct business units: Home & Life, and Industrial & Commercial. Our Industrial & Commercial business unit is focused on helping industrial customers adopt and adapt to Industry 4.0 through intelligent, connected devices. Navigating the increasing global competition among the industrial landscape requires a constant balance between capturing new business and ensuring sustainable operations.
Leveraging the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) allows our customers to understand areas to increase production and efficiency, understand and improve processes, and even predict faults in processes before downtime occurs.
A good example of this is the work we do with CoreTigo, a pioneer in factory automation. Built on the IO-Link Wireless global standard, CoreTigo enables real-time control and monitoring across the entire operational technology, for greater adaptivity and modularity. IO-Link Wireless enables actionable data captured from dozens of sensors on a machine and from hundreds of different machines; thereby optimizing maintenance, energy conservation, customization, and throughput.
CoreTigo needed secure, robust connectivity that also had the compute power to run the IO-Link Wireless standard, and selected Silicon Labs’s MG13, MG21, and MG24 to meet their needs.
DQ: Elaborate on what are you doing with smart city solutions.
Daniel Cooley: Silicon Labs' technologies contribute to the development of intelligent infrastructure within smart cities. This includes smart lighting systems, smart transportation systems, and intelligent grid management, among others. By integrating sensors, connectivity, and data analytics, cities can optimize infrastructure operations, improve efficiency, and enhance overall sustainability.
With our newest advancement of FG25 System-on-Chip (SoC), which was recently made generally available in India, we aim to meet the growing demand for intelligent, connected devices in urban and other municipal settings that is ideal for long-range transmissions in rapidly densifying areas.
Our recent collaboration with CyanConnode, a pioneer in RF mesh technology, who have opted to employ our FG25 System-on-Chip (SoC) to enhance India's smart metering solutions, is also one of our recent deployments. CyanConnode is supporting India’s Smart City Mission by providing high-quality solutions and we are glad to be a part.
Cyan Connode has supported India's smart metering market for more than ten years. The RF mesh technology leader, utilises Wi-SUN in its technology solutions and leverage utilities to gather real-time data about energy consumption and manage their networks more effectively.
DQ: What have you been doing in connected health?
Daniel Cooley: As a prominent player in the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, we specialize in creating intelligent medical devices that are safe and dependable for use in any healthcare environment. We enable devices that are powered by low-energy, high-capacity wireless systems-on-chips (SoCs) and modules, ensuring optimal performance while also maintaining robust security.
The smart medical devices that leverage our technology range -- from pulse oximeters and ECG monitors to fitness wearables, making healthcare more accessible and improving lives around the world.
In March, we announced our new BG27 Bluetooth SoC, which was designed with features ideal for connected health applications. As part of that we announced one of the SoC’s first customers, Lura Health. Lura Health selected the new SoC to form the basis of its new in-development smart wearable.
But, unlike some of the most common wearables on the wrist or other external skin, the new Lura Health monitor goes in a person's mouth. Specifically, the device is so small that it is glued to a tooth. With the device, dentists and other clinicians can collect important data from saliva, which is used to test for over 1,000 health conditions.