The updated MEMS sensors combined with a new, powerful MCU, integrated in a single, small package, support a wide variety of interfaces to connect external devices. To cut time-to-market and reduce design effort for OEMs, Bosch Sensortec has created an open development platform for these devices. This includes a comprehensive integrated software framework in ROM, evaluation kits and a Software Development Kit (SDK). The released Software Development Kit allows for full customization, creating an open and flexible development environment for sensor applications
With the help of its integrated powerful sensor co-processor and MEMS sensors, the BHI260 and BHA260 can handle sophisticated sensor processing tasks and data buffering without waking up the main application processor, and can even run entirely standalone. Their low power consumption translates into significantly extended battery lifetimes in wearables, hearables, AR/VR devices and smartphones.
"Compared to existing hub solutions, our second-generation sensor hubs offer a significant increase in processing power, whilst further reducing power consumption," says Dr. Stefan Finkbeiner, CEO of Bosch Sensortec. "These new sensor hubs are the ideal solution for always-on applications such as fitness tracking, step counting, indoor navigation and gesture recognition. Further members of the family will follow to further expand the already impressive feature set. This will enable manufacturers to noticeably differentiate their products to gain a decisive competitive advantage," he adds.
To facilitate more complex processing tasks such as automated activity recognition and context awareness, the BHI260 and BHA260 feature "Fuser2" – a 32-bit floating point CPU with 256 kB on-chip SRAM. The CPU draws merely 950 μA at 20 MHz in the super-efficient 'long run' mode, and 2.8 mA at 50 MHz in the high performance 'turbo' mode. The processor delivers up to 3.6 CoreMark/MHz.
The new Bosch sensor hub family includes state-of-the-art 16-bit MEMS sensors, a 6-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) in the BHI260 or a 3-axis accelerometer in the BHA260. They provide extensive connectivity, up to 25 GPIOs for BHI260 and up to 12 GPIOs for BHA260, and support for integration of other sensor devices, including GNSS and various localization systems. The smart sensor hubs are compact enough to easily fit into small products such as hearables and wearables. The BHI260 comes in a 44 pad LGA package and measures just 3.6 x 4.1 x 0.83 mm3. The BHA260 is packaged in a 22 pad LGA package and measures 2.7 x 2.6 x 0.8 mm3.
The BHI260 and BHA260 will be available for high-volume applications in Q3/2018.