MEMS ideal for wireless sensor nodes and smartphones

January 07, 2013 // By R Colin Johnson
Bosch said it has integrated into a 32-bit microcontroller a three-axis accelerometer with its first nine-axis inertial measurement unit (IMU) that includes a gyroscope and magnetometer. The accelerometer also runs sensor fusion algorithms on the microcontroller.

The Bosch Sensortec BMA355 three-axis accelerometer is said to provide ultra-low-power performance while an integrated interrupt engine on the tiny device permits 12-bit resolution in small devices such as power management for hearing aids and wireless sensor nodes.

For smartphones, tablets, game consoles and digital cameras, the BMA355 accelerometer includes on-chip motion detection, portrait-landscape orientation-switching, laying-flat detection, tap/double-tap sensing, shock detection and free-fall protection.

Bosch's first nine-axis IMU enables smartphones, tablets, global positioning systems and other consumer electronics to sense orientation via a 12-bit accelerometer.

The 5- by 4.5-mm device is the first member of a new Bosch Sensortec family of Application Specific Sensor Nodes which include integrated sensor fusion. The BNO055 system-in-package performs its own sensor fusion using a 32-bit microcontroller running Bosch's FusionLib software.

By including sensor fusion algorithms that integrates separate outputs from an accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer, "Bosch's FusionLib frees the design engineer from the details of characterizing and compensating for the variations in separate devices from different vendors," said said Leopold Beer, director global marketing at Bosch Sensortec (Reutlingen, Germany).

The nine-axis BNO055 IMU is designed for advanced inertial sensing including image stabilization, pedestrian tracking and gesture recognition for applications likeaugmented reality, immersive gaming, personal health and fitness, indoor navigation and wearable sensors.

Bosch's said its third-generation sensor FusionLib supports both Android and Windows 8 operating systems.