STMicroelectronics and Movea cooperation for motion-recognition on MCUs

September 24, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
STMicroelectronics and Movea, provider of data-fusion and motion-processing technologies for consumer electronics, are to integrate Movea’s SmartMotion technology into the STM32F401 microcontroller to provide a low-power sensor-hub controller for power-efficient, always-on motion processing.

The integration of Movea’s high-accuracy motion-processing models into the STM32F401 will enable mobile-device manufacturers and application developers to deliver context-aware applications and services, such as pedestrian navigation, and activity monitoring. ST's objective is to provide STM32 microcontrollers with high signal processing and math computation, while reducing power consumption, embedding Movea IP in an STM32F401 to offload sensor-hub tasks from the application processor, reducing overall power consumption. In mobile and tablet markets “always on” applications such as fitness tracking and context awareness have an enormous impact on battery life.

Devices equipped with the combination will anticipate user’s needs and provide additional services based on their activity, location and surroundings. For example, these devices will help users launch applications using simple gestures without having to unlock the phone, accurately track their daily physical activity, and allow indoor pedestrian navigation and other location-based services. With users spending up to 80% of their time indoors, monitoring and tracking of indoor location and activity is critical to delivering the promise of location-based services. Movea’s Pedestrian Dead Reckoning claims to offer a real low-power solution when run on this high-performance, power-optimised sensor hub from ST.

Movea’s sensor-hub solution offers a comprehensive set of SW, Firmware and Tools to enable advanced-motion detection, gathering data from an accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer and pressure sensor. These features augment the sensors with auto calibration, 3D orientation, 3D compass; Mobile Gestures; Activity Monitoring; and Pedestrian Navigation. Movea will supply all the motion processing and support software for Android and Windows applications.

The new STM32F401 line is designed for mobile devices that require balanced performance and low-power modes while integrating high-density memories and peripherals inside packages as small as 3 x 3 mm. The STM32F401 uses an ARM Cortex-M4 core running at 84 MHz, associated with a unique ST memory accelerator interface (ART).