Smallest nine-axis motion sensor is compact for smart watches

Housed in a compact 2.5 x 3.0 x 0.95mm3 package, the BMX160  is the smallest nine-axis motion sensor in the industry, claims Bosch Sensortec.

It is designed for applications such as smartphones, smart watches, fitness trackers, smart jewellery and augmented/virtual reality devices. It combines the company’s accelerometer, gyroscope and geomagnetic sensor technologies, to meet the stringent low-power requirements demanded by wearable devices. This inertial sensor reduces power consumption below 1.5mA.

The sensor enables Android wearable applications relying on sensor data such as device orientation, magnetic heading or the gravity vector. It also supports applications such as 3D indoor mapping and smartphone optimised virtual reality applications and can be used in conjunction with the company’s BSX sensor data fusion software library to further optimise performance.

The single-package sensor effectively replaces the present combination of a six-axis IMU with a three-axis geomagnetic sensor. It is pin- and register-compatible with the company’s industry-standard six-axis BMI160 IMU for ease of upgrading, says the company.

A built-in power management unit and low power background application enables the power-hungry application processor to remain in sleep mode for longer, for example when counting steps, which further extends battery recharge intervals. The integrated step counter function and the Android-compatible significant motion detector only consume 30micro A each.

The accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetic technology in the sensor has been optimised for low offset, low noise and best temperature stability. Bosch Sensortec gyroscope technology offers low drift, which is a key requirement for a real-time user experience, especially in augmented and virtual reality applications, says the company.

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