IP+software builds low-power sensor processing blocks for wearable-tech SoCs

March 03, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
Synopsys and Hillcrest Labs have jointly announced an ultra low power sensor processing solution for always-on applications; the combination of Synopsys’ Sensor and Control IP Subsystem with its ARC EM processor; and Hillcrest Labs’ Freespace MotionEngine software, enables power efficient sensor processing for mobile and wearable devices.

Hillcrest’s MotionEngine software is now optimised to run on Synopsys’ DesignWare Sensor and Control IP Subsystem. The IP Subsystem includes ARC EM processors and integrated hardware accelerators for sensor-specific functions that are claimed to boost performance and reduce power consumption by up to 85% compared to discrete solutions. A power-efficient hardware/software sensor solution is appropriate for a range of mobile and IoT applications including activity tracking, intelligent context awareness, intuitive gesture recognition and accurate navigation functions, Synopsys adds.

Hillcrest’s MotionEngine software transforms sensor data into high quality, contextual information that powers sensor enabled features on a wide range of devices. Synopsys’ Sensor and Control IP Subsystem offers designers a pre-verified, system on chip (SoC) ready IP platform optimised to meet sensor and control processing requirements common in “always on” Internet of Things (IoT) applications. The combination of Hillcrest’s intelligent sensor processing software stack and Synopsys’ energy efficient DesignWare Sensor and Control IP Subsystem enables developers of sensor enabled devices to implement high quality, always on sensor processing functionality with extremely low power consumption.

Hillcrest’s Freespace MotionEngine technology provides ultra low power sensor processing to enable always-on sensing. The software can dramatically extend battery life through context aware power savings, enabling greater use of a variety of new applications including advanced activity tracking, intuitive gesture recognition and pedestrian navigation. The MotionEngine software intelligently combines data from an array of motion, environmental and biometric sensors to provide a cost effective way to deploy sensor hubs and enhance mobile, wearable and IoT devices with advanced sensor features.

The highly integrated DesignWare Sensor and Control IP Subsystem processes data from digital and analogue sensors and always-on audio sources. Hillcrest’s software has been optimised to take advantage of the subsystem’s low power capabilities to provide always on sensing without compromising accuracy, reliability or functionality. The configurable subsystem includes a choice of ARC EM processors for varied performance needs, and tightly integrated pulse width modulation (PWM),