BMX160 MEMS sensor
Bosch Sensortec launches the world’s 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 mm3 package, the smallest 9-axis motion sensor in the industry.
“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 BMI160 IMU 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.
Samples are available for development partners.
About Bosch Sensortec
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.