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Jan 14th, 2013
 
Small footprint, very low power consumption
 
Bosch Sensortec introduces next-gen electronic compass BMC150 geomagnetic sensor and accelerometer in a single package.
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  • High precision measurement through Bosch FlipCore technology
  • Powerful interrupt engine offers high design versatility
  • Sensor data fusion software provides eCompass functionality

Press release
With the new BMC150, Bosch Sensortec announces the second generation of its revolutionary electronic compass module. The new implementation again raises the bar in terms of package size, accuracy and versatility.

The BMC150 is a 6-axis electronic compass module based on Bosch's proven FlipCore technology which provides high accuracy and at the same time low power operation for longer battery life for smartphones, tablet computers and similar mobile devices. With a size of just 2.2 x 2.2 mm2 and a power consumption as low as 190 µA it sets new standards for compactness and battery lifetime.

Design focus on package size and low power requirements

"Our focus for the BMC150 design was reducing the footprint and thus to help our customers to save valuable PCB real estate," comments Bosch Sensortec CEO Stefan Finkbeiner. "An equally important goal was increasing the measurement range. As the result, the BMC is the ideal eCompass module for innovative applications in battery-driven mobile devices such as smartphones, tablet computers and watches."

BMC150 combines a 3-axis geomagnetic sensor and a state-of-the-art 3-axis accelerometer in a single package. Its high integration translates into another benefit for users: It reduces the number of components that otherwise have to be handled and qualified separately. Both sensors form a logical and functional unit, since the g-vector generated by the accelerometer is required to calculate the tilt compensation for the azimuth data produced by the geomagnetic sensor. The accelerometer and the geomagnetic sensor in BMC150, however, can also be used as two fully functional independent devices.

Besides high integration, the sensor offers very high accuracy. Its exceptionally wide measurement range of +/- 1300 µT per axis makes it more tolerant to stray magnetic fields associated to loudspeakers or other magnetic components in smartphones. On the other hand, its extremely low noise of just 0.3 µT enables very accurate measurement.

Many applications for handheld devices such as user interface or navigation depend on an orientation vector. With eCompass library V3.0, Bosch Sensortec also offers a sensor data fusion software that performs the calculations for tilt compensation and thus generates precise heading information for compass applications. In cases where a highly dynamic orientation vector is indispensable – such as augmented reality or games – designers typically employ a gyro sensor to provide this information in a 9-axis sensor system. Along with Bosch Sensortec's FusionLib V3.0 algorithm, the 3-axis stand-alone gyro sensor BMG160 is the ideal complement to the BMC150.

Smart interrupt engine detects motion patterns
The inherent intelligence of the BMC150 helps to significantly reduce time to market for application developers. With its powerful and versatile interrupt system, the BMC150 greatly facilitates the design of a broad range of different applications. The integrated smart interrupt engine enables the sensor module to automatically identify motion patterns and situations. For instance, it detects free fall conditions, flat orientation on a table, tap sensing or even no motion at all for a definable period of time. These status data enable the implementation of many innovative features for mobile devices such as activating sleep mode and waking it up by tapping it with a finger.

Developers also benefit from the new FIFO buffer which acts as a temporary storage for measurement data until they are needed. This feature offloads the application processor further, effectively reducing the system's overall power consumption. The accelerometer section of the sensor can be adjusted to four different g ranges between +/- 2g and +/- 16g, enabling designers to select the g range that fits best their application.

The Bosch Sensortec BMC150 is available now.

Bosch Sensortec GmbH is a fully owned subsidiary of Robert Bosch GmbH. It develops and markets micro-mechanical sensors for consumer electronics, mobile phones, safety systems, industrial technology and logistics. The product portfolio includes triaxial geomagnetic and acceleration sensors, triaxial gyroscopes, barometric pressure sensors and a comprehensive software portfolio for various applications. Since its foundation in 2005 Bosch Sensortec emerged as the technology leader in the addressed markets. The Bosch Group has been the global market leader for MEMS sensors since 1998 and has to date sold more than 2 billion MEMS sensors.

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

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. In the areas of automotive technology, energy and building technology, industrial technology, and consumer goods, more than 300,000 associates generated sales of 51.5 billion euros in 2011. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and roughly 350 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries. If its sales and service partners are included, then Bosch is represented in roughly 150 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. Each year, Bosch spends around 4.2 billion euros for research and development, and applies for over 4,100 patents worldwide. The Bosch Group’s products and services are designed to improve quality of life through solutions that are innovative and beneficial, as well as fascinating. In this way, the company offers technology worldwide that is “Invented for life.”

Further information is available online at www.bosch.com and www.bosch-press.com

 

 
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