Dialog & Bosch merge wireless & sensor expertise

October 14, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
Dialog Semiconductor and Bosch Sensortec have announced a collaboration to develop a low power smart sensor wireless platform for IoT devices; the resulting, lowest-power 12-degrees of freedom (DOF) advanced sensor development kit can provide increased performance in gesture recognition.

The smart sensor reference platform for gesture recognition is aimed at applications in wearable computing devices and immersive gaming, including augmented reality, and 3D indoor mapping and navigation. It combines Dialog’s DA14580 Bluetooth Smart System-on-Chip (SoC) with three low power sensors from Bosch Sensortec: the BMM150 for 3-axis geo-magnetic field measurement, the BME280 pressure, humidity and temperature sensor, and the 6-axis BMI160 (a combination of a 3-axis accelerometer and 3-axis gyroscope in one chip). The resulting unit, built onto a 14 x 14 mm printed circuit board, consumes less than 500 µA from a 3V coin cell when updating and transferring all 12 x 16 bits of data wirelessly to a smartphone.

The DA14580 SmartBond SoC is used in wearables, and integrates a Bluetooth Smart radio with an ARM Cortex-M0 application processor and intelligent power management. It more than doubles the battery life of an application-enabled smartphone accessory, wearable device or computer peripheral in comparison with competing solutions. The DA14580 includes a variety of analogue and digital interfaces and features less than 15 mW power consumption in active mode and 600 nA standby current in a 2.5 x 2.5 x 0.5 mm outline.

Bosch Sensortec’s BMI160 6-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) integrates a 16 bit, 3-axis, low-g accelerometer and an ultra-low power 3-axis gyroscope within a single package. When the accelerometer and gyroscope are in full operation mode, the typical current consumption is 950 µA, only half of that of its nearest rivals. The BMM150 integrates a compact 3-axis geo-magnetic field sensor using Bosch Sensortec’s high performance FlipCore technology. The BME280 Integrated Environmental Unit combines sensors for barometric pressure, humidity and temperature measurement within a single package. The precise altitude measurement function of the BME280 is a key requirement in applications such as indoor navigation with floor tracking. Additionally, the BME280 has response time for humidity determination of one second only, accurate ambient temperature measurement and very low current consumption.