12 DOF smart sensor development kit targets VR & the IoT

15th March 2016
Nat Bowers

Dialog Semiconductor has introduced what it claims is the world’s lowest power and smallest 12 DOF wireless smart sensor development kit for IoT applications. The kit combines Dialog’s DA14583 SmartBond Bluetooth Smart SoC with Bosch Sensortec’s gyroscope, accelerometer, magnetometer and environmental sensors on a tiny 16x15mm PCB, supplied as a dongle in a plastic housing.

The development platform accelerates time-to-market for environmental and motion sensing modules used in wearables, virtual reality, 3D indoor mapping, navigation, remote controls and many other IoT sensor-based applications. It can stream raw sensor data as well as output the absolute real world orientation of a device in quaternion form. Typical current consumption is only 1.3mA when streaming sensor data, less than 110µA in advertising mode and under 11µA in power-save mode.

The complementary SDK includes SmartFusion, Dialog’s smart sensor library for data acquisition, auto-calibration and sensor data fusion and runs on the DA14583’s embedded Cortex-M0 processor. SmartFusion has no dependencies on external runtime libraries and has been optimised for resource constrained systems. It includes options for both static and auto-calibration and on the fly selection of sensor input for data. SmartFusion offers the flexibility to support various sensor types and sample rate configurations. The development kit also includes iOS and Android applications for data visualisation on tablets or smartphones.

Sensors with 12 DOF provide the best possible tracking of human activity by combining position and motion sensing information with magnetic field and ambient environment data. Dialog’s sensor development kit can also be used for 9 DOF application developments.

The DA14583 has an ARM Cortex-M0 baseband processor integrated with an ultra-low power Bluetooth Smart radio. It can be used as a standalone application processor or as a data pump in hosted systems and has a flexible memory architecture, including 1Mb of Flash memory, for storing Bluetooth profiles and custom application code.

The Bosch sensors featured in the development kit are the BMI160 6-axis inertial measurement unit, the BMM150 3-axis geomagnetic field sensor and the BME280 integrated environmental unit, which measures pressure, temperature and humidity.

Sean McGrath, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Connectivity, Automotive & Industrial Business Group, Dialog Semiconductor, commented: “The explosive growth in demand for battery-powered IoT devices has put ultra-low power consumption at the top of every design engineer’s wish list. The next priority is small size, particularly for wearables. Dialog’s highly integrated wireless smart sensor development platform is demonstrably the industry’s leading solution to address these design challenges and confirms the company’s market leadership in connected smart sensor solutions. Coupled with its unique sensor fusion software, the module makes it easier than ever to design differentiated products that deliver competitive advantage in the highly competitive consumer electronics markets.”

The development platform will be demonstrated at Bluetooth World, March 15-16, 2016, at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

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