Maxim’s ultra-small hSensor platform for wearable wellness apps

November 01, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
For wearable products in the health and fitness applications space, Maxim has configured a complete development platform that uses ARM mbed support, which the company says can eliminates up to six months of design time.

Creating a custom board with sensors can be complex, as designers must first build custom hardware and firmware to validate their concepts and then build prototypes before starting any field trials. From there, they generally spend a significant amount of time evaluating sensors and existing solutions. Maxim says its hSensor Platform eliminates the extra 3-6 months it typically takes to develop a prototype by bringing all the hardware building blocks together on one PCB, as well as having readily-accessible hardware functionality with the ARM mbed hardware development kit (HDK).


The hSensor Platform, offered as the MAXREFDES100# reference design, includes an hSensor board, complete firmware with drivers, a debugger board, and a graphical user interface (GUI). With access to firmware source code on Maxim’s website, the platform allows designers to load algorithms for different use cases and adapt to their specific applications. Engineers can download the firmware to optimize designs, enable faster evaluations, and reduce time to market. The hSensor Platform is presented as the only complete development platform available today, for health, wellness, and high-end fitness applications such as chest straps, ECG patches, wrist-worn devices, thermometers, disposable temperature patches, blood oxygen measurement, smart weigh scales, and bio authentication. For example, one can design a wearable patch to continuously record ECG on a single CR2032 battery for twice as long compared to today’s existing solutions—a power savings of more than 50%.

The hSensor Platform includes the following products:


MAX30003: Ultra-low power, single-channel integrated biopotential AFE – link here

MAX30101: High-sensitivity pulse oximeter and heart-rate sensor – link here

MAX30205: Industry’s only clinical grade temperature sensor – link here

MAX32620: Ultra-low power ARM® Cortex®-M4F microcontroller optimized for wearables

MAX14720: Industry’s lowest quiescent current power management integrated circuit (PMIC)

Additional content: Inertial sensors (3-axis accelerometer, 6-axis accelerometer/gyroscope), barometric pressure sensor, flash memory, and BLE radio.


The MAXREFDES100# reference design is available for $150 at Maxim's website and select franchised distributors.