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.