Wearables are already on a slim power budget, but QuickLogic Corp. aims to alleviate some of the designer's grief with a sensor hub with reduced power consumption and field programmable (FPGA-like) reconfigurability. Consuming just 75-microWatts (68-microAmps at 1.1 volts) with everything on and running at full speed the QuickLogic sensor hub also borrows from the companies experience in low-power FPGAs to allow its hardware to be reconfigured by the wearable maker.
QuickLogic also provides an extensive library of sensor fusion routines — called SenseMe — that reduce the power consumption of the application processor by 50 percent, according to the company. Algorithms include all the usual suspects, including motion sensing, environmental sensing, light sensing and all the usual health and fitness algorithms. User can also add their own algorithms which are compiled together with QuickLogic's own, or for maximum speed can even be burned into the reconfigurable circuitry provided.
“Our sensor hubs enable the battery to last for weeks in some devices,” Paul Karazuba, director of marketing and media at QuickLogic, told EE Times.
Instead of a power-hungry microcontroller, like ARM's M4 which burns 150 microWatts, QuickLogic uses what it calls a DSP-like “fusion engine” that burns under 50 microWatts. (The extra 25 microWatts specified for the whole device's 75 microWatt consumption with everything running, includes the peripheral interface circuits and other support circuitry.)
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