New Smart Sensor System is More Than Just a Digital Fitness Coach in Miniature Size


Programmable, AI-enabled sensor for various high-performance applications

New Smart Sensor System is More Than Just a Digital Fitness Coach in Miniature Size

Today’s consumers want portable and smart devices that have high performance and a full set of features, yet provide a long battery life. For product designers, this means making difficult decisions to minimize power consumption without affecting the user experience.

Bosch Sensortec announces a new smart sensor system that delivers a best-in-class performance/power consumption ratio, yet is simple to integrate due to its small size and built-in, ready-to-use software algorithms.

The new BHI360 is a programmable IMU-based sensor system combining a gyroscope with an accelerometer that enables full customization. The integrated sensor fusion library enables 3D audio with head orientation for personalized sound experiences as well as simple gesture recognition.

A product variant, the BHI380 equips the sensor with additional algorithms. BHI380 is based on the same architecture but also includes self-learning AI software suitable for a wide variety of fitness tracking, thus making training and tracking a breeze and enabling personalized workouts. Dedicated swim tracking software measures swimming style and boosts users to the next fitness level in the water, while the pedestrian dead reckoning (PDR) algorithm helps users reach their destination, even when the GPS signal drops out for a few minutes. This means it is particularly suitable for hearable and wearable devices. Typical applications include pedestrian navigation, 3D audio, personalized fitness tracking, and human-machine interaction. 

The smart sensor system has an integrated, low-power custom processor. This custom processor can run simpler sensor processing algorithms itself, such as gesture detection or step counting, thus avoiding waking the main device processor and keeping power consumption ultra-low. The custom processor also helps achieve better power consumption for high-end algorithms.

“When we say that the BHI360/380 is the most intelligent programmable IMU ever, we mean it has the most powerful built-in microprocessor, paired with an extensive software library of integrated algorithms,” said Dr. Stefan Finkbeiner, CEO at Bosch Sensortec.

The sensor is provided in a compact 20-pin LGA package measuring 2.5 x 3 x 0.95 mm3. This means it is 50% smaller than its previous generation, and that it is the smallest programmable dual-core IMU sensor in the market.

Typical total current consumption is less than 600 µA for 3D orientation. It provides fast SPI (50MHz) and I2C (3.4MHz) host interfaces, as well as multiple SPI, I2C, and GPIO interfaces for external sensors.

Click here for an overview of the sensor solutions from Bosch Sensortec.