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Bosch announces world’s smallest 9-axis motion sensor

Tue 21 Jun 2016

German electronics giant Bosch has unveiled its new nine-axis motion sensor, the BMX160, which it claims is the smallest ever device of its kind.

Measuring just 2.5 x 3 x 0.95mm, the sensor has been designed by Bosch’s consumer technology branch Sensortec for specific use in smartphones, smart watches and other wearable technologies such as smart glasses, fitness trackers and virtual reality devices. The tiny sensor pack contains an accelerometer, a gyroscope and geomagnetic software and records a power consumption rate of less than 1.5 milliampere (mA).

In today’s release, Jeanne Forget, VP of marketing at Bosch Sensortec, commented: ‘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.’

BMX160 - ideally suited for extreme form-factor constraints The tiny power-efficient 9-axis sensor from Bosch Sensortec offers an ideal solution for wearable applications, such as smart glasses. The BMX160 is housed in a compact 2.5 x 3.0 x 0.95 mm3 package, the smallest 9-axis motion sensor in the industry. (PRNewsFoto/Bosch Sensortec)

‘This device overcomes 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,’ he added.

The engineering company explained that the BMX160 will be able to replace the traditional two-part approach, which uses a six-axis IMU and a three-axis geomagnetic sensor. This allows the new combined Bosch sensor to offer placement flexibility, overcoming current challenges on where magnetic components can be positioned.

According to the company, the compact sensor pack has been carefully built with energy optimisation and performance in mind. It holds an integrated power management unit which allows the ‘power-hungry’ application processor to stay in sleep mode for longer periods of time – when counting steps for example –which contributes to extending battery recharge intervals.

The accelerometer, gyroscope and geomagnetic technologies have also been optimised for low offset, low noise and best temperature stability. The gyroscope technology has an extremely low drift, which provides a further boost in achieving accurate real-time user experience, particularly when used in augmented and virtual reality applications.

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