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Silicon companies collaborate on Amazon Sidewalk


High-performance analogue and mixed-signal semiconductors provider, Semtech, has teamed up with Amazon to collaborate on Amazon Sidewalk.

Silicon Labs, a provider of silicon, software and connectivity solutions, also announced its collaboration with Amazon to support Amazon Sidewalk.

Amazon Sidewalk is a free-to-users shared network created by neighbours over a small portion of Wi-Fi bandwidth to help their devices work better at home and its perimeter. Sidewalk aims to simplify new device setup, extend the working range of low-bandwidth devices, and help them stay online and up-to-date even if they are outside a home’s Wi-Fi range. It will support offline connectivity for, say, motion alerts from security cameras, customer support for troubleshooting – even when Wi-Fi is down, tools that can self-diagnose problems and order replacement parts; it will deliver improved range with reduced energy consumption for smart locks, and offer the ability to locate pets or valuables throughout neighborhoods.

Equipped with multiple layers of security and privacy, Amazon Sidewalk will support Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), Frequency Shift Keying (FSK) and Chirp Spread Spectrum (CSS) in the 900MHz band.

“Semtech’s LoRa is a proven IoT solution that supports a long-range, low-power wide area network (LPWAN) platform and meets Amazon Sidewalk’s goal of providing the network support needed to connect a broad range of low power home devices or sensors. The collaboration with Amazon solidifies that LoRa is the de facto platform for IoT LPWAN applications and expands LoRa to new consumer applications,” said Mohan Maheswaran, Semtech’s President and CEO.

Whereas Silicon Labs’s wireless solutions for Amazon Sidewalk will enable developers to create IoT products with encrypted cloud communication, regardless of the protocol. Silicon Labs’s EFR Wireless Gecko Series products support Sidewalk’s sub-GHz and Bluetooth Low Energy protocols.

Amazon Sidewalk is a crowd-sourced wireless network that can simplify device setup, extend the range for low bandwidth applications and provide limited functionality even when devices fall offline. Semtech’s long range, low power LoRa platform in the Amazon Sidewalk network extends the range of a customer’s home network to connect both outdoor and indoor, low-bandwidth smart home products, including smart lights, pet trackers, sensors for asset tracking, smart irrigation, and a multitude of additional low cost devices needed for residential use. With extended range, mobility and low power consumption, the LoRa platform enables the rapid deployment of a vast range of secure, low touch consumer Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

According to IHS Markit, the global smart home market is expected to grow by a factor of five to reach more than $192 billion in 2023, a rapid increase from the $41 billion in revenues in 2018. Several current networks for smart devices in the home, including Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, are limited in connectivity and range. Cellular (e.g. 5G) is needed for mission critical, long distance, guaranteed delivery of data, but can be too costly and power hungry for battery operated devices. With LoRa and Amazon Sidewalk, customers will have access to smart home solutions that work out of the box with extended connectivity and battery life.

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