Saving board space and reducing bill of materials, Bosch Sensortec has released the BHI160 and BHA250 MEMS sensor devices with an integrated sensor hub for Android smart phones. By offloading sensor processing to the BHI160 or BHA250, as well as buffering sensor data locally on the devices, the main application processor is never woken up just to process sensor data, which significantly reduces system power consumption and extends battery life, said Bosch. The device is said to reduce power consumption by up to 95 percent for always-on applications in mobile devices by handling the sensor processing and data batching.
The new devices integrate a 3- or 6-axis MEMS sensor with the new Bosch Sensortec DSP "Fuser Core,” a 32-bit microcontroller that is optimized to execute Bosch Sensortec's sensor fusion and activity-recognition algorithms with ultra-low power consumption. “It uses significantly less power than standard microcontrollers, with a savings of up to 95 percent compared to Cortex M0 and up to 90 percent compared to Cortex M4 based devices,” said the company.
The BHI160 and BHA250 offer identical functionality with the exception that the BHI160 integrates a 6-axis inertial measurement unit (IMU), consisting of a 3-axis gyroscope and 3-axis accelerometer, while the BHA250 omits the gyroscope. The BHI160 is available in a 3.0 x 3.0 x 0.95 mm³ LGA package, while the BHA250 is provided in a 2.2 x 2.2 x 0.95 mm³ LGA package. These packages are the same size as competitive sensor-only devices without an integrated DSP, said Bosch.
The devices, specifically designed for applications in Android smart phones, implement the full Android Lollipop sensor stack inside the devices where they provide a low-power solution for motion sensing and sensor data processing, and can be updated with new software features to support future releases. The sensor hub devices are full turnkey solutions.
The BHI160 is touted as the industry's lowest power solution that is fully compatible with Lollipop, using less than 1.55 mA for a complete 9-axis solution including the Fuser Core, the integrated accelerometer and gyroscope and an external magnetometer.
The new devices are fully pin- and footprint-compatible with Bosch's sensor-only variants, which allows OEMs to support multiple smart phones on one platform, and to make decisions later in the designs, said Bosch.
Availability: Samples will be available to select customers in the second quarter of 2015.