BMA400 accelerometer enhances battery life for always-on devices

Bosch Sensortec is launching the BMA400, a low power acceleration sensor for wearables and IoT applications at CES 2018 (9-12 January).

The BMA400 draws 10 times less current than existing accelerometers, says Bosch Sensortech to reduce power demand significantly and extend battery lifetime, especially on coin cell-powered devices.

Usually, accelerometers have to choose between low power and high performance. The BMA400, however, combines low power consumption, and continuous measurement for the sensor’s measurement signal which has precisely defined cutoff frequencies, making it very resistant to vibrations. This is particularly useful when applied to the IoT, such as in smart home security systems, where the BMA400 can distinguish between real alarm situations, like broken glass, and false signals coming from random vibrations. Therefore, false alarms triggered by vibrations coming from the outside environment, such as construction works, are easily prevented.

The low current step counter is rated at just four micro A. Combined with intelligent power management features like built-in activity recognition, the BMA400 can effectively help wearable devices such as fitness bands, smart clothes, watches and activity trackers to achieve unprecedented battery life, claims Bosch.

To further extend battery life, the BMA400 wakes up automatically only when it detects motion and goes back into sleep mode when the motion recedes. This function finds its use especially in low-power IoT applications powered by coin cells, i.e. smart window sensors in indoor climate control or security systems.

The small dimensions of 2.0 x 2.0 x 0.95mm³ and the integrated plug and play step counter make the new BMA400 acceleration sensor easy to design into various applications, Bosch Sensortech believes. This decreases time-to-market, simplifying the addition of step counting functionalities to new types of wearables such as regular watches and jewellery.

With its built-in voltage regulator, the BMA400 delivers stable performance over a wide supply voltage range. It offers flexible device tuning for power consumption, noise and output data rate (ODR) parameters. The BMA400 has a current consumption of 14-micro A at highest performance, continuous measurement and a noise density of 220-micro g/√Hz. This falls to just one microA and below in the low power self-wake-up mode. The sensor also includes a large FIFO of one kbyte.

The BMA400 will be available for OEMs and distributors starting in June 2018. C-samples for OEMS are available on demand.

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