Bosch Sensortec has launched the BMP390 barometric pressure sensor that delivers high accuracy for altitude tracking in smartphones as well as wearable and hearable devices. Fifty percent more accurate than the previous generation, the new sensors can measure height changes below 10 centimeters thanks to improved resolution.
The BMP390 provides a typical relative accuracy of 0.03 hPa, which Bosch claims is higher than any other comparable product on the market. Typical absolute accuracy is 0.5 hPa thanks to improvements in temperature stability, drift behavior, and noise.
The sensor offers high temperature stability across its operating temperature and pressure range of 0°C to 65°C and 700 to 1100 hPa, respectively, with an average temperature coefficient offset (TCO) of 0.6 Pa/K. Noise is also low, at only 0.9 Pa typical, an improvement of 25 percent compared to the predecessor BMP380. The device also provides high long-term stability, and low short- and long-term drift.
The sensor, measuring 2.0 x 2.0 x 0.75 mm, also offers a low power consumption of 3.2 µA at 1 Hz (typical) to maximize battery life in portable device applications.
According to a recent FCC report, wireless providers in the U.S. will be required to meet more stringent location accuracy benchmarks, which include providing the caller’s dispatchable location. The new requirement will require the adoption of a z-axis location accuracy metric of +/-3 meters for 80 percent of indoor wireless E911 calls starting in 2021.
Bosch has partnered with NextNav LLC, a 3D geolocation service provider, to deliver high accuracy z-axis capabilities indoors by using barometric pressure sensors, like the Bosch BMP390, in a smartphone, in combination with NextNav’s Metropolitan Beacon System (MBS) z-axis service to determine three-dimensional location and positioning.
The sensor also can be used to improve general indoor navigation applications, in combination with the BHI160BP position tracking smart sensor, for example. The solution can be used as a replacement for traditional localization technologies such as GPS that don’t work well in shielded environments, such as in an underground garage, said Bosch.
The BMP390 also supports enhanced GPS applications for outdoor navigation and calorie tracking. The advanced barometric pressure sensing can determine whether a user is walking up or down an incline or stairs or lifting weights during a fitness training session. This helps to increase the precision of calorie tracking by up to 15 percent and enables fitness trackers to show exactly how far a user has run, walked or cycled.
The BMP390 is available for high-volume smartphone, wearable, and hearable designs.
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