Bosch reduces size, power of 6-axis IMU

June 24, 2014 // By Peter Clarke
Bosch Sensortec has taken the power consumption of an inertial measurement unit below 1mA with a view to gaining design wins in wearable equipment.

Bosch Sensortec has produced a 6-axis inertial measurement unit (IMU) that consumes less than 1mA and has a packaged size of 2.5mm by 3.0mm by 0.8 mm. This compares with Bosch's BMI055 which consumes more than 5mA and has a package size of 3mm by 4.5mm by 0.95mm.

BMI160 Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) integrates a 16-bit 3-axis, low-g accelerometer and a 3-axis gyroscope and has been designed for always-on 6-axis and 9-axis applications in smart phones, tablets, wearable devices, remote controls, game controllers, head-mounted devices and toys. It can also serve as an input to 9-axis sensor fusion computation.

The part is available in a 14-pin 2.5 × 3.0 × 0.8 mm3 LGA package. When the accelerometer and gyroscope are in full operation mode, the typical current consumption is 950µA, best in class by a factor of two, Bosch claims.

The BMI160 can use an external geomagnetic sensor to synchronize the inertial accelerometer and gyroscope sensor data for applications requiring exact, low latency 9-axis sensor data fusion.

Additional sensors such as geomagnetic or pressure sensors can be connected as slaves via a secondary I2C interface. In this configuration, the BMI160 controls data acquisition of the external sensor with all sensor data being stored in the BMI160's built-in FIFO. With the secondary interface configured as a high-speed SPI interface and connected to camera module, BMI160 also supports optical image stabilization.