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Sensor-to-cloud kit aims to inspire IoT innovation

Product helps developers move quickly from proof of concept to end product and create a wide range of wireless sensing applications

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New kits aim to help developers "make sense" of everything in the IoT
New kits aim to help developers "make sense" of everything in the IoT

Provides all the hardware and software needed to create battery-powered wireless sensor nodes for the IoT

Makes it easy for developers of all skill levels to create wireless sensing products for smart cities

Silicon Labs has introduced a complete sensor-to-cloud development kit that provides all the hardware and software developers need to create battery-powered wireless sensor nodes for the Internet of Things (IoT).


The company, which provides silicon, software and solutions for the IoT, Internet infrastructure, industrial automation, consumer and automotive markets, is describing its new Thunderboard Sense as an “inspiration kit” for developers to create sensor-to-cloud IoT node innovations. It is the latest addition to its Thunderboard family of development kits.


The kit includes six onboard sensors, a Wireless Gecko SoC for multiprotocol cloud connectivity, 8 MB of external flash for over-the-air updates and a built-in SEGGER J-Link to simplify programming and debugging. Thunderboard Sense ships with Silicon Labs’ ready-to-use cloud-connected IoT mobile apps, making it easy to collect and view a wealth of real-time sensor data for cloud-based analytics and business intelligence.


According to the IoT market research firm ON World, annual shipments of wireless sensor nodes will reach 2.5 billion units by 2021, up from 680 million this year. Short-range wireless technologies such as ZigBee, Thread, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi will connect the majority of these nodes to the cloud. All-inclusive, easy-to-use development kits like Thunderboard Sense and Thunderboard React make it easy for developers of all skill levels to create cloud-connected wireless sensing products for homes, offices, smart cities, smart grids, transportation, agriculture and asset tracking.


“We’ve designed Thunderboard Sense to inspire developers to create innovative, end-to-end IoT solutions from sensor nodes to the cloud,” said Raman Sharma, Director of Silicon Labs’ IoT Developer Experience. “Thunderboard Sense helps developers make sense of everything in the IoT. They can move quickly from proof of concept to end product and develop a wide range of wireless sensing applications that leverage best-in-class cloud analytics software and business intelligence platforms.”


Thunderboard Sense simplifies IoT design by providing the sensing, processing and a choice of connectivity technologies needed to connect battery-powered sensor nodes to the cloud. Onboard sensors measure data, such as motion, light and environmental conditions, and then transmit this data wirelessly to the cloud. An intuitive Android or iOS mobile app displays the data on the developer’s mobile device for data aggregation and cloud analytics.


Offered in a compact 30 mm x 45 mm board that fits in the palm of your hand, developers can programme Thunderboard Sense using the USB Micro-B cable and onboard J-Link debugger. A USB virtual COM port provides a serial connection to the target application.


It is supported by Silicon Labs’ Simplicity Studio tools and a board support package (BSP) gives users a head start in application development. Developers do not need RF design expertise to develop wireless sensor node applications with Thunderboard Sense. After connecting the board to a laptop with a USB cable, developers can get up and running in minutes with Silicon Labs’ easy-to-use Simplicity Studio tools, free mobile apps and IoT demos.


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