Bosch launches next generation of smart sensor hub combining increased processing with reduced power consumption

Bosch Sensortec has announced the first two products in a new generation of smart sensor hubs: the BHI260 and BHA260. These new devices are the first smart sensor hubs on the market to be optimised for always-on sensor processing and feature ultra-low power consumption.

The integrated powerful sensor coprocessor and MEMS sensors mean the BHI260 and BHA260 can handle sophisticated sensor processing tasks and data buffering without waking up the main application processor, and can even run entirely standalone. Their low power consumption translates into significantly extended battery lifetimes, making them perfect for use in wearables, hearables, AR/VR devices and smartphones.

Dr. Stefan Finkbeiner, CEO of Bosch Sensortec said: “Compared to existing hub solutions, our second-generation sensor hubs offer a significant increase in processing power, whilst further reducing power consumption.

“These new sensor hubs are the ideal solution for always-on applications such as fitness tracking, step counting, indoor navigation and gesture recognition. Further members of the range will follow to further expand the already impressive feature set. This will enable manufacturers to noticeably differentiate their products to gain a decisive competitive advantage.”

To cut time-to-market and reduce design effort for manufacturers, Bosch Sensortec has created an open development platform for these devices. This includes a comprehensive integrated software framework in ROM, evaluation kits and a Software Development Kit (SDK).

Powerful CPU combined with precise inertial sensors

The BHI260 and BHA260 feature “Fuser2” to facilitate more complex processing tasks such as automated activity recognition and context awareness. Fuser2 is a 32-bit floating point CPU with 256 kB on-chip SRAM (static random-access memory). The CPU has a super-efficient ‘long run’ mode, allowing increased battery life, as well as a high performance ‘turbo’ mode, improving processing power.

The new Bosch sensor hub range includes state-of-the-art 16-bit MEMS sensors, a 6-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) in the BHI260 or a 3-axis accelerometer in the BHA260. They provide extensive connectivity, up to 25 data input/output pins (GPIOs) for BHI260 and up to 12 GPIOs for BHA260, supporting integration of other sensor devices, including GNSS and various localisation systems.

The smart sensor hubs are compact enough to easily fit into small products such as hearables and wearables. The BHI260 comes in a 44 pad LGA surface-mount package and measures just 3.6 x 4.1 x 0.83 mm3. The BHA260 is contained in a 22 pad LGA package and measures 2.7 x 2.6 x 0.8 mm3.

The BHI260 and BHA260 will be available for high-volume applications in Q3/2018.

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