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Compact barometric pressure sensor launched at CES 2017

5th January 2017
Alice Matthews

Bosch Sensortec has launched the BMP380, the company’s smallest and best performing barometric pressure sensor, with a compact size of 2.0x2.0x0.75mm3The BMP380 is aimed at the growing markets of gaming, sports and health management, as well as indoor and outdoor navigation. 

By measuring barometric pressure, the sensor enables drones, smartphones, tablets, wearables and other mobile devices to accurately determine altitude changes, in both indoor and outdoor environments.

Wide range of applications
This BMP380 sensor offers design flexibility, providing a single package solution that can be easily integrated into a multitude of existing and upcoming applications and devices.

Typical applications for the BMP380 include altitude stabilisation in drones, where altitude information is utilised to improve flight stability and landing accuracy. This simplifies drone steering, thereby making drones attractive for a broader range of users. The BMP380 can also substantially improve calorie expenditure measurement accuracy in wearables and mobile devices, for example by identifying whether a person is walking upstairs or downstairs in a step tracking application. Especially in hilly environments, this allows runners and cyclists to significantly improve the monitoring accuracy of their performance. In smartphones, tablets and wearables, this sensor brings precision to outdoor/indoor navigation and localisation applications, i.e. by utilising altitude data to determine the user's floor level in a building, and enhancing GPS accuracy outdoors.

Accurate and unmatched ease of use
Pressure and temperature data can be stored in the built-in FIFO of 512 byte. The FIFO and interrupt functionality provide simple access to data and storage. This greatly improves ease of use while helping to reduce power consumption to 2.7µA at 1Hz during full operation.

According to Bosch, the sensor is more accurate than its predecessors, covering a wide measurement range from 300-1250hPA. Tests in real-life environments have verified a relative accuracy of ±0.06hPa (±0.5m) over a temperature range from 25 to 40°C. The absolute accuracy between 300-1100hPa is ±0.5hPa over a temperature range from 0 to 65°C.

This barometric pressure sensor exhibits low power consumption. The small package size of 2.0x2.0x0.75mm3 complies with new industry benchmarks and is more than one third smaller than the previous-generation BMP280, thus offering increased placement flexibility.

"We are very excited about the opportunities that this sensor opens up for designers to further advance their products," said Jeanne Forget, Vice President Global Marketing at Bosch Sensortec. "Our product is unmatched in its scope, precision and footprint, and provides an improvement for outdoor localisation, thereby reducing our reliance on GPS signals".

The powerful features and solid performance specifications of the BMP380 are the result of more than a decade of experience that Bosch has acquired in the manufacturing of MEMS pressure sensors. Bosch invented a completely new 'Advanced Porous Silicon Membrane' (APSM) process for the manufacture of MEMS pressure sensors and has applied this technology to produce more than one billion pressure sensors. Today, Bosch is the number one MEMS supplier and industry leader in barometric pressure sensors.

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