Sensor hubs help cut smartphone power consumption

16th November 2016
Mick Elliott

The BHA250 low-power sensor hub and BHI160 ultra-low power sensor hub from Bosch Sensortec is now in stock at distributor Mouser Electronics . Designed specifically for always-on sensor applications in smartphones running the Android operating system, the BHA250 and BHI160 enable designers to offload sensor processing from the main processor, which can reduce power consumption and extend battery life.

The sensor hubs integrate a best-in-class 3-axis MEMS accelerometer (BH250) or 6-axis gyroscope/accelerometer inertial measurement unit (BH160) with the new Bosch Sensortec digital signal processor, Fuser Core.

The Fuser Core is a 32-bit floating-point microcontroller optimised to execute Bosch Sensortec's sensor fusion and activity-recognition algorithms with ultra-low power consumption — up to 95 percent less than that of other microcontrollers.

The BHA250 and BHI160 are specifically designed for applications in Android smartphones — implementing a full Android sensor stack inside the devices to provide a flexible, low-power solution for always-on motion sensing and sensor data processing. In both devices, the 32-bit Fuser Core microcontroller features 96 kBytes of ROM, including the BSX sensor fusion library, and 48 kBytes of RAM for additional drivers, local data buffering, or feature updates.

The devices provide up to three general-purpose input/outputs (GPIOs) and a high-speed I2C interface with data rates up to 3.4 MBit/s for power-efficient data transfer.

They meet the requirements of smartphones, wearables, and other applications that demand highly accurate, real-time motion data at very low power consumption.

Mouser also offers corresponding shuttle boards for the sensor hubs. Both the BHA250 shuttle board and BHI160 shuttle board, available to order from Mouser, include four external magnetometers that can be connected to the sensor hubs using the available jumpers on the PCB.

The shuttle board allows easy access to the sensor‘s pins via a simple socket and can be plugged into the Bosch Sensortec Application Board.


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