Smart sensor platform uses Bluetooth LE, packs 12 DoF

March 15, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
Dialog Semiconductor claims the lowest power usage for its 12 degrees-of-freedom Bluetooth smart sensor development platform. Targeting IoT and Virtual Reality (VR) applications, development time is said to be reduced with the integrated DA14583 Bluetooth Smart SoC and SmartFusion sensor library.

The 12 degrees-of-freedom (DoF) wireless smart sensor development kit is based on Dialog’s SmartBond Bluetooth Smart SoC combined with Bosch Sensortec’s gyroscope, accelerometer, magnetometer, and environmental sensors on a 16 x 15 mm board. The board is supplied as a dongle in a plastic housing. Typical current consumption is 1.3 mA when streaming sensor data, less than 110 µA in advertising mode and under 11 µA in power-save mode.


Target application areas include environmental and motion sensing modules used in wearables, virtual reality, 3D indoor mapping, navigation, remote controls and other sensor-based tasks. It can stream raw sensor data as well as output the absolute real world orientation of a device in quaternion form.


The complementary software development kit (SDK) includes SmartFusion, Dialog’s sensor library for data acquisition, auto-calibration, and sensor data fusion and runs on the DA14583’s embedded Cortex M0 processor. SmartFusion has no dependencies on external runtime libraries and has been optimised for resource-constrained systems. It includes options for both static and auto-calibration and on-the-fly selection of sensor input for data. The library offers the flexibility to support various sensor types and sample rate configurations. The development kit also includes iOS and Android applications for data visualisation on tablets or smartphones.


Sensors with 12 DoF provide the best possible tracking of human activity by combining position and motion sensing information with magnetic field and ambient environment data. Dialog’s sensor development kit can also be used for 9 DoF application developments.


The DA14583 has an ARM Cortex®-M0 baseband processor integrated with an ultra-low power Bluetooth Smart radio. It can be used as a standalone application processor or as a data pump in hosted systems and has a flexible memory architecture, including 1 Mbit of Flash memory, for storing Bluetooth profiles and custom application code.


The Bosch sensors featured in the development kit are the BMI160 6-axis inertial measurement unit, the BMM150 3-axis geomagnetic field