Multi-sensor modules are connectivity hub for developing devices

Claimed to be the the smallest turnkey sensor board of its type, containing a MEMS accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, pressure sensor, and a MEMS microphone, the SensorTile from STMicroelectronics measures just 13.5 x 13.5mm.

It has an on-board low-power STM32L4 microcontroller, and a Bluetooth Low Energy transceiver. It can be used as a sensing and connectivity hub for developing products such as wearables, gaming accessories, and smart-home or IoT devices, says the company.

SensorTile’s transceiver includes a miniature single-chip balun on-board, and there is a broad set of system interfaces that support use as a sensor-fusion hub or as a platform for firmware development. It can be plugged into a host board, and starts streaming inertial, audio and environmental data to ST’s BlueMS smartphone app that can be downloaded free-of-charge from app stores.

Software development benefits from an ecosystem of application program interface (API) based on the STM32Cube hardware abstraction layer and middleware components, including the STM32 Open Development Environment.

The system is compatible with the Open Software eXpansion Libraries (Open.MEMS, Open.RF, and Open.AUDIO), as well as many third-party embedded sensing and voice-processing projects. Many example programs available in source code offer a starting point for evaluation and customisation, including software for position sensing, activity recognition, and low-power voice communication.

A cradle board, which carries the 13.5 x 13.5mm SensorTile core system in standalone or hub mode can be used as a reference design. The board contains a humidity and temperature sensor, a micro-SD card socket, as well as a lithium-polymer battery (LiPo) charger. Its layout demonstrates how a wearable prototype, customised with extra functionalities, can be designed with the SensorTile core system.

The pack also contains a LiPo rechargeable battery and a plastic case to house the cradle, SensorTile, and battery combination. There is also a cradle/expansion board with an analogue audio output, a micro-USB connector, and an Arduino-like interface that can be plugged into any STM32 Nucleo board. A programming cable is also included.

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