Smallest 9-axis motion sensor

July 04, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
Bosch Sensortec claims to have the smallest 9-axis motion sensor, alow power design for smartphones, smart watches and other wearables: ultra-low power consumption helps extend usage intervals of battery driven devices, with uses including smart watch gestures, step counting, magnetic heading and device orientation.

Pin- and register-compatible with the prior BMI160 for design flexibility, the BMX160 is a power-efficient 9-axis sensor in a 2.5 x 3.0 x 0.95 mm package. Combining Bosch Sensortec’s advanced accelerometer, gyroscope and geomagnetic sensor technologies, the BMX160 is able to meet the increasingly more stringent low-power requirements demanded by wearable devices with power consumption below 1.5 mA. This sensor is suited for applications that face extreme form factor restraints, e.g. in smart glasses.

The BMX160 sensor enables Android wearable applications relying on sensor data such as device orientation, magnetic heading or the gravity vector. It supports applications such as 3D indoor mapping and smartphone optimized virtual reality applications – e.g. cardboard Virtual Reality (VR). The sensor can be used in conjunction with the Bosch Sensortec BSX sensor data fusion software library.


The single-package BMX160 effectively replaces the present mainstream two-component workaround solution, i.e. combination of a 6-axis IMU with a 3-axis geomagnetic sensor. This innovative 9-axis motion sensor provides the placement flexibility necessary for overcoming current limitations on positioning of the magnetic sensor.


The BMX160 has a built-in power management unit and ultra-low power background application features. This enables the power-hungry application processor to remain in sleep mode much longer, for example when counting steps, which further contributes to extending battery recharge intervals. The integrated step counter function and the Android compatible significant motion detector consume 30 µA each.


The accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetic technology in the BMX160 have been optimized for low offset, low noise and best temperature stability. Bosch Sensortec gyroscope technology claims extremely low drift, which is a key requirement for an accurate real-time user experience, especially in augmented and virtual reality applications.


Bosch Sensortec;