PNI Sensor Announces Expansion of Algorithm Portfolio for SENtral

From smartphones that 'know' when to ring or plan the most traffic-free route home to body-worn devices that train the wearer not to slouch, consumers can now interact with their personal mobile devices in fundamentally new ways.

While this functionality is much in demand by consumers, adding context- and location-awareness to smartphones and wearables has historically been a challenging task for designers. PNI Sensor (PNI), a leader in magnetic sensing and sensor fusion technologies, aims to change that. By expanding the motion and location-related algorithms that can be embedded within SENtral™, its sensor-agnostic sensor hub, PNI simplifies the achievement of these highly desirable features.

"Competitive solutions come in two forms: MCU-based sensor hubs running third-party algorithms licensed from specialized software companies and MEMS sensors that come with optional sensor fusion algorithms that run on the mobile device's app processor," said Becky Oh, president and CEO, PNI Sensor. "Neither is a perfect solution for many reasons, but the key takeaway is that SENtral offers a single solution with both the enabling hardware and software for 'always-on' operation of the highest-performance motion, context and location algorithms."

In direct benchmarking against FLASH-based sensor hub microcontrollers (MCU) with on board floating point units (FPU), SENtral operates at 10x less power than competitive solutions. SENtral can routinely run over 160,000 floating point operations per second at about 300µAmps average current consumption at 1.8V, which is unlike anything else in the market today.

Oh added, "SENtral gives designers the best of both worlds -- a portfolio of best-of-breed algorithms for context- and location-awareness embedded on a tiny, ultra-low power sensor hub. This frees designers from integration worries, gives them the flexibility to choose their own sensors and conserves precious power. And best of all, SENtral costs about what a very stripped down Cortex M0 would, with no additional licensing fees for use of the embedded algorithms."

SENtral is now available with a wide range of algorithms for context- and location-awareness, including:

  • Sensor Fusion
  • Activity Monitoring
  • Device Orientation and Motion
  • Pedestrian Dead-Reckoning (available Q4)


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