Silicon Labs developed the miniature xG27 chips, small enough and power efficient for medical applications. The technology makes it possible to place a chip on one of a person’s teeth along with a special sensor to continuously monitor the properties of saliva – this allows you to continuously monitor your health and prevent many diseases.
According to Silicon Labs, the xG27 family of single-chip platforms includes the BG27 and MG27 models. Both are based on the Arm Cortex M33 core and differ in that the BG27 uses Bluetooth and the MG27 uses Zigbee and other protocols. The chip area is 2-5 mm2.
Importantly, the BG27 is already being used in a real solution – a sensor integrated into the tooth. Medical device maker Lura Health says it’s already using it in test mode for diagnostics. The sensor is so small it can actually be attached to a tooth to continuously monitor saliva with over 1,000 parameters.
The company isn’t the first to develop futuristic electronics. But if many projects are thwarted due to the complicated certification process by US regulators, in this case Lura Health says it has completed clinical trials with UConn Orthodontics and is now preparing for US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval . If everything goes according to plan, the product will be launched in the next 12-18 months.
There are other promising applications for Silicon Labs’ chipset – smart medical patches, sensors for continuous blood glucose monitoring, wearable EKG machines. One of the main advantages is the ability to use a voltage of only 0.8 V and switch to “storage mode”, which reduces the energy drain from the battery during transport and storage in the warehouse for a long time.