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Bosch Sensortec launches the worlds smallest 9-axis motion sensor

Compact and low power design for smartphones, smart watches and other wearables

  • Ultra-low power consumption helps extend usage intervals of battery driven devices
  • Enables smart watch gestures, step counting, magnetic heading and device orientation
  • Pin- and register-compatible with BMI160 for design flexibility

Today, Bosch Sensortec is launching the BMX160, a compact 9-axis motion sensor that is ideally suited for a wide range of applications such as smartphones, smart watches, fitness trackers, smart jewelry – e.g. rings, necklaces – as well as Augmented/Virtual Reality devices.

Compared to smartphones, wearables face much harsher space and power constraints. It's precisely this environment where a tiny power-efficient 9-axis sensor like the BMX160 offers an ideal solution. This new sensor is housed in a compact 2.5 x 3.0 x 0.95 mm3package, the smallest 9-axis motion sensor in the industry.

By combining Bosch Sensortec’s advanced accelerometer, gyroscope and geomagnetic sensor technologies, the BMX160 is able to meet the increasingly more stringent low-power requirements demanded by wearable devices. Bosch's low-power sensor technology makes this the standout 9-axis inertial sensor on the market, reducing power consumption below 1.5 milliampere (mA). This sensor is ideally suited for applications that face extreme form factor restraints, e.g. in smart glasses.

“By combining Bosch Sensortec’s advanced sensor technologies into a single compact package, the BMX160 sets new industry benchmarks for high performance, tiny footprint and low power consumption”, said Jeanne Forget, Vice President Marketing, Bosch Sensortec. “This device finally overcomes today’s placement constraints in smartphones and directly addresses the demands of wearable devices, where PCB space and low power consumption are at an even greater premium”.

Enabling wearable applications
The BMX160 sensor enables Android wearable applications relying on sensor data such as device orientation, magnetic heading or the gravity vector. Moreover, the sensor supports applications such as 3D indoor mapping and smartphone optimized virtual reality applications – e.g. cardboard Virtual Reality (VR). The sensor can be used in conjunction with the Bosch Sensortec BSX sensor data fusion software library to further optimize performance.

The single-package BMX160 effectively replaces the present mainstream two-component workaround solution, i.e. combination of a 6-axis IMU with a 3-axis geomagnetic sensor. This innovative 9-axis motion sensor provides the placement flexibility necessary for overcoming current limitations on positioning of the magnetic sensor. Pin- and register-compatibility with Bosch Sensortec’s industry-standard 6-axis BMI160IMU simplifies the task of upgrading designs.

Built-in power management unit
The BMX160 has a built-in power management unit and ultra-low power background application features. This enables the power-hungry application processor to remain in sleep mode much longer, for example when counting steps, which further contributes to extending battery recharge intervals. The integrated step counter function and the Android compatible significant motion detector only consume 30 microampere (µA) each.

The accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetic technology in the BMX160 have been optimized for low offset, low noise and best temperature stability. Bosch Sensortec gyroscope technology offers an extremely low drift, which is a key requirement for an accurate real-time user experience, especially in augmented and virtual reality applications.

Availability
Samples are available for development partners.

Android is a trademark of Google Inc.

Tags: Motion, Sensor

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Contact:
Tina Horstmann
phone: +49 7121 35-35924

Bosch Sensortec GmbH is a fully owned subsidiary of Robert Bosch GmbH that is dedicated to delivering a complete portfolio of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) sensors and solutions that enable consumer electronics to be connected. Bosch Sensortec develops and markets a wide portfolio of MEMS sensors and solutions tailored for smartphones, tablets, wearable devices and IoT (Internet of Things) applications.

The product portfolio includes 3-axis acceleration, gyroscope and geomagnetic sensors, integrated 6- and 9-axis sensors, environmental sensors, and a comprehensive software portfolio. Since its foundation in 2005, Bosch Sensortec has emerged as the MEMS technology leader in the markets it addresses. Bosch has been both a pioneer and a global market leader in the MEMS sensor segment since 1995 and has, to date, sold more than 7 billion MEMS sensors. Bosch sensors can be found in three out of four smartphones worldwide.

For more information, go to www.bosch-sensortec.com, twitter.com/boschMEMS.

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 390,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2016). The company generated sales of 73.1 billion euros in 2016. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. As a leading IoT company, Bosch offers innovative solutions for smart homes, smart cities, connected mobility, and connected manufacturing. It uses its expertise in sensor technology, software, and services, as well as its own IoT cloud, to offer its customers connected, cross-domain solutions from a single source. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to deliver innovations for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.” The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing and sales network covers nearly every country in the world. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. At 120 locations across the globe, Bosch employs some 59,000 associates in research and development.

Additional information is available online at www.bosch.com, www.iot.bosch.com, www.bosch-press.com, www.twitter.com/BoschPresse.