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Product News

Silicon Labs Streamlines iOS Accessory Designs with Comprehensive 32-bit Development Kit  

-- Cost-Effective Development Kit for MFi Licensees Supports the Lightning Connector and Latest Protocol Stack --  

AUSTIN, Texas – April 9, 2014 – Silicon Labs today introduced a new 32-bit hardware and firmware development kit designed to accelerate the design of Made for iPod/iPhone/iPad (MFi) accessories and help product manufacturers get to market quickly. Leveraging Silicon Labs’ ARM Cortex-M3-based SiM3U microcontroller (MCU), the MFI-SIM3U1XX-DK development kit supports the all-digital Lightning connector and protocol stack. The new development kit targets a wide range of accessories for iOS devices including entertainment accessories, device-powered dongles, game controllers and docking stations.

Today’s iOS accessory manufacturers are quickly migrating their 30-pin connector-based products to the Lightning connector standard, which provides an advanced all-digital connector and re-designed protocol stack. Silicon Labs designed the MFI-SIM3U1XX-DK kit as a turnkey solution to help developers simplify their Lightning-based accessory development projects and speed time to market while meeting the MFi program requirements with ease.

Silicon Labs’ 32-bit development kit provides an exceptionally cost-effective and comprehensive solution for accessory developers. The kit includes everything engineers need to begin developing Lightning-based accessories right away, including a hardware development board, firmware libraries and an example iOS App, which supports Appcessory-style communication between the iOS device and development board. By simplifying the development process, the new 32-bit kit enables MFi licensees to focus on what matters most – the accessory application itself.

The MFI-SIM3U1XX-DK kit enables developers to reduce the cost, complexity and power consumption of accessories designed for iOS devices. The SiM3U MCU features fully-specified analog peripherals, an integrated capacitive touch sense controller, an internal 5 V regulator and crystal-less USB support, which eliminates the need for discrete crystal oscillators and reduces bill of materials (BOM) cost, component count and board space. Device-powered accessory applications benefit from the SiM3U MCU’s best-in-class power efficiency. The SiM3U MCU offers ultra-low power consumption with full analog operation down to 1.8 V, achieving a 33 percent lower active current than in-class competitors and a 5-100x lower sleep current, while a low-current USB idle mode ensures the viability of device-powered accessories.

“Today’s iOS accessory developers want a simple, efficient ‘out-of-the-box’ experience from their hardware and firmware development kits,” said Geir Førre, senior vice president and general manager of Silicon Labs’ microcontroller and wireless products. “We designed our new 32-bit development kit to accelerate the iOS accessory development process, support the advanced Lightning connector, and reduce system cost and energy consumption.”

Pricing and Availability

The MFI-SIM3U1XX-DK development kit is available today to MFi licensees for $149 (USD). MFi licensees can order the kit through the Apple MFi Procurement Portal. For additional information about the development kit, please visit www.silabs.com/mcu.



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