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Developing Amazon Sidewalk Devices for the IoT

July 2, 2024

In an increasingly connected world, the IoT has become an integral part of our daily lives. From smart home devices to wearable gadgets, IoT devices are making us more productive, healthier, and bringing new levels of convenience. But robust and reliable connectivity is critical. Enter Amazon Sidewalk, a shared wireless network designed to extend the reach of IoT devices beyond the confines of our homes. This not only revolutionizes IoT connectivity but also bridges the gap between neighborhoods.

What Is Amazon Sidewalk?

With the idea of making our world smarter, safer, and more interconnected, Amazon Sidewalk comes as a novel concept that leverages existing Amazon Echo and Ring devices as bridges to create a neighborhood-wide network. It not only revolutionizes IoT connectivity by extending the range of devices but also bridges the gap between homes and neighborhoods.

Here’s how it works:

  • A Shared Network: Amazon Sidewalk allows compatible devices to communicate with each other over a shared network. This network extends beyond individual homes, connecting devices across a broader area.
  • Low-Bandwidth, Long-Range Connectivity: Amazon Sidewalk provides reliable connectivity even at low bandwidths. It’s ideal for devices such as outdoor lights, motion sensors, and location-based trackers.
  • Communication Protocols: Amazon Sidewalk uses multiple communication protocols:
    • Bluetooth Low Energy (LE): For short-distance communication within a home.
    • CSS and FSK Radio Protocols: These operate at 900 MHz frequencies, enabling longer-range communication.

The Architecture of Amazon Sidewalk

Amazon Sidewalk’s architecture consists of three layers:

  • Radio Layer
    • Amazon Sidewalk devices communicate using Bluetooth LE, CSS, or FSK.
    • The application layer sits on top of the Bluetooth LE stack for Bluetooth LE devices.
    • For FSK and CSS, there’s an additional network layer.
  • Network Layer
    • Handles routing and forwarding of data between devices.
    • Ensures seamless communication across the Amazon Sidewalk network.
  • Application Layer
    • Manages device-specific applications and services.
    • All Amazon Sidewalk devices connect to the cloud via AWS IoT Core for Amazon Sidewalk.

Silicon Labs: Enabling Amazon Sidewalk Devices

Silicon Labs, a leading provider of IoT solutions, offers a comprehensive development ecosystem for Amazon Sidewalk devices:

  • Amazon Sidewalk SDK: Our certified SDK simplifies development, reduces costs, and accelerates time-to-market for Amazon Sidewalk devices.
  • Wireless Hardware: Silicon Labs offers a range of hardware options, including the SG28 dual-band SoC, SG23 SoC, and BG21/BG24 Bluetooth LE modules.
  • Security: Security is paramount in IoT, and Silicon Labs ensures robust security features for Amazon Sidewalk devices.
  • Development Kits and Tools: Developers can access integrated tools and services, from concept to product launch.

Collaboration with Amazon

Silicon Labs collaborates closely with Amazon to drive long-term success:

  • Hardware Roadmaps: Continual innovation ensures compatibility with Amazon’s evolving ecosystem.
  • Software Updates: Regular updates enhance device performance and security.

Choose the Right Hardware when Developing Amazon Sidewalk Devices

Silicon Labs’ Amazon Sidewalk Hardware Selector Guide was created to assist developers in selecting the ideal module or SoC and the associated development hardware for their Sidewalk-enabled devices.