QuickLogic lowers power on smartphone/wearable sensor hubs

September 10, 2014

Bernard Cole-September 10, 2014

QuickLogic Corp. has one-upped its own previous hardware programmable customer specific standard product sensor hub design with its new second generation ArcticLink 3 S2 platform.

According to Brian Faith, VP of worldwide sales and marketing at QuickLogic, the second-generation platform delivers double the customer-specific programmable logic capacity, four times the computational performance, four times the on-board algorithm capacity, and eight times the sensor data buffer storage while consuming 40% less power than the previous generation ArcticLink 3 S1.

"The demand for sensor-based applications such as health and wellness, indoor navigation/Pedestrian Dead Reckoning (PDR) and gaming is a drain on battery life," he said. "The MCU- based approach is based entirely on software, which uses significantly more power than hardware. Alternatives such as ASSPs do not have the inherent flexibility to adapt sensor hub algorithms to emerging mobile requirements for additional gesture and contextual awareness applications.

Faith said the hardware-based solution enables greater power efficiency while the programmable fabric offers flexibility to add more sophisticated functions and adapt to design changes.

He said its second-generation Flexible Fusion Engine (FFE) has four times the speed of previous generation, allowing it to process more algorithms, more quickly

It incorporates a dual, hardwired 32-bit multipliers for lowest power sensor algorithm math functions and has increase memory size for storing eight times more batched sensor events for longer periods between processor wake-up, resulting in lower system power

It also has hardwired SPI and I2C interfaces for optimized communication to sensors and to host Application Processors and/or Microcontrollers (MCUs) and on-chip oscillators remove the need for external clock sources, reducing Bill-of-Material (BOM) costs and PCB space required for sensor hub

Programmable logic cells can be used to integrate customer-specific functions such as IR remote control, LED control and IrDA bar code transmission – removing the need to use additional MCUs or mobile FPGAs, Faith said.

The ArcticLink 3 S2 and Context and Gesture Catalog CSSP are sampling now.

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