Suche

Always in position: how a Bosch semiconductor chip is revolutionizing navigation

Annett Fischer

Annett Fischer >

X

  • New Bosch MEMS sensor ensures uninterrupted navigation and helps to realistically depict vehicle movements.
  • Semiconductor chip captures vehicle movements even more precisely and reliably.
  • Further applications: eCall, alarm systems, and fleet management.
Bosch Future Cockpit

Reutlingen, Germany – It has probably happened to everyone at least once: driving into an unfamiliar, bustling city, only to have the navigation system fail just when it’s needed most. Fortunately, those days are now over, thanks to a new Bosch MEMS sensor: the SMI230. This highly precise sensor constantly registers changes in the vehicle’s directionand speed, evaluates the information, and transmits it to the navigation system. There, the information is combined with the positional data from the global navigation satellite system (GNSS) and used for navigation. A sudden interruption in the GPS signal – perhaps due to a tunnel or urban canyon – causes the new Bosch sensor to step in. “When the navigation system is at a loss, Bosch semiconductor sensors ensure that the car doesn’t lose its way,” says Jens Fabrowsky, member of the executive management of Bosch’s Automotive Electronics division. The advent of constantly reliable data on vehicle movements means that the navigation display’s familiar “flip book” effect is a thing of the past. Thanks to the combination of GPS position and sensor information, the navigation arrow on the display no longer makes unrealistic jumps or suddenly changes orientation on its path from waypoint to waypoint. “Semiconductors are key to modern-day mobility, and it is impossible to imagine cars today without them,” Fabrowsky says. Bosch recently started production of the SMI230, and the first customers are already receiving the sensor as standard equipment.

When the navigation system is at a loss, Bosch semiconductor sensors ensure that the car doesn’t lose its way.

Jens Fabrowsky, member of the executive management of Bosch’s Automotive Electronics division.

No more choppy movement

Sensor technology in the form of a chip – this is the secret to keeping the movement of the arrow fluid across the navigation map. Experts refer to these kinds of sensors as microelectromechanical systems, or MEMS sensors. To generate high-precision data on vehicle motion, Bosch puts together two of these tiny, extremely sensitive sensors – one for the vehicle’s acceleration, the other for its yaw rate – in a single housing. The strength of the SMI230 lies in this combination. In addition, the sensor duo achieves an extraordinary degree of precision and can detect changes in the vehicle’s motion unusually quickly. “Bosch has comprehensive expertise, unrivaled worldwide, in developing and manufacturing semiconductors for automotive applications. That helps us to both develop new automotive functions and steadily improve the chips themselves,” Fabrowsky says.

Thanks to the data from the SMI230 sensor, the map display moves smoothly in tandem with the vehicle’s motion. The same applies to a situation in which the navigation system completely loses its orientation due to a dropped satellite signal. “Bosch’s sensor resolves the blind spots of GNSS navigation,” says Michael Rupp, product manager in Automotive Electronics at Bosch. “It helps to precisely determine the vehicle’s position, even with a weak satellite signal, and to provide directions at just the right time for proceeding along the route.” To accomplish this, the navigation system constantly analyzes changes in vehicle direction and speed as detected by the Bosch sensor and transmits the vehicle’s position to the navigation map. The data acquisition is so precise that the display of the vehicle’s position remains reliable even if the dropped signal persists for some time.

Bosch has comprehensive expertise, unrivaled worldwide, in developing and manufacturing semiconductors for automotive applications. That helps us to both develop new automotive functions and steadily improve the chips themselves.

Jens Fabrowsky, member of the executive management of Bosch’s Automotive Electronics division.

One sensor, many possibilities

Bosch semiconductor chips are primarily used as sensors for safety and driver assistance systems, but also in multimedia and connectivity applications as well as in conventional and electrified powertrains. The capabilities of Bosch’s SMI230 MEMS sensor not only improve navigation, they also make it ideal for use in fleet management and toll systems, as these areas also require precise motion detectors. Furthermore, the sensor is suited for use in vehicle alarm systems because of its ability to detect vibrations and impacts. If there is an accident – detectable through extremely negative acceleration values (collision) or enormous rotational motion (flipping) – the sensor data can still trigger the automatic eCall emergency call system.

Mobility Solutions is the largest Bosch Group business sector. It generated sales of 46.8 billion euros in 2019, and thus contributed 60 percent of total sales from operations. This makes the Bosch Group one of the leading automotive suppliers. The Mobility Solutions business sector pursues a vision of mobility that is safe, sustainable, and exciting, and combines the group’s expertise in the domains of personalization, automation, electrification, and connectivity. For its customers, the outcome is integrated mobility solutions. The business sector’s main areas of activity are injection technology and powertrain peripherals for internal-combustion engines, diverse solutions for powertrain electrification, vehicle safety systems, driver-assistance and automated functions, technology for user-friendly infotainment as well as vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, repair-shop concepts, and technology and services for the automotive aftermarket. Bosch is synonymous with important automotive innovations, such as electronic engine management, the ESP anti-skid system, and common-rail diesel technology.

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 400,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2019). The company generated sales of 77.7 billion euros in 2019. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. As a leading IoT provider, Bosch offers innovative solutions for smart homes, Industry 4.0, and connected mobility. Bosch is pursuing a vision of mobility that is sustainable, safe, and exciting. 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 facilitate connected living with products and solutions that either contain artificial intelligence (AI) or have been developed or manufactured with its help. 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 subsidiary and regional companies in 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing, engineering, and sales network covers nearly every country in the world. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. Bosch employs some 72,600 associates in research and development at 126 locations across the globe, as well as roughly 30,000 software engineers.

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

Still looking for something?