Motion-tracking sensor company InvenSense believes it also has the world's first programmable tri-core sensor hub that also includes a 3-axis accelerometer and a 3-axis gyroscope. Announced in early January, the ICM-30630 sensor hub — named FireFly — also has a I2 C port to connected magnetometers, barometric pressure sensors, humidity sensors, or any other specialized sensor for a particular application.
InvenSense is pitching the hub as a sensor system-on-chip (SoC), in its press release.
The sensor hub contains a Cortex M0 core, along with two proprietary digital motion processors (DMPs), so that the programmer can modify, substitute or write from scratch any algorithms not already included in the DMPs.
“FireFly is a sensor hub with integrated 6-axis sensor,” InvenSense's Software Product Marketing Director Vishal Khemani told EE Times. “The Cortex M0 is supported by two of InvenSense's Digital Motion Processors (DMPs). One of the DMPs offloads the Android Lollipop sensor functionality and the other DMP executes complex motion functions thus offloading the Cortex M0, which customers can also use to run their own value-add software. In addition, ICM-30630 uses a standard ARM core, the popular core for such applications ensuring strong ecosystem of too and 3rd party software. FireFly also uses a I2C Port for adding additional sensors.”
EE Times reported lately on two other sensor hubs, the most recent being the Bosch BHI160 with integral accelerometer and gyroscope like Invensense's FireFly, and the BHA250 with only a 3-axis accelerometer alone, along with the integral sensor hub — but Invensense claims it is not an open platform like theirs.
'The Bosch part integrates the sensors and a 'hub', however it appears to use a proprietary core. So assuming Bosch allows programming the device, a proprietary core will mean a longer time to market since customers will have to learn the architecture and the toolsets. Plus the customers code will be not be easily portable to new architectures and platforms,” Khemani told us.
Of course, Bosch begs to differ with this characterization as does PNI Sensor Corp., which offer both a single-chip solution, sans the sensors, plus board-level solutions that combine Bosch sensors with PNI’s sensor hub.
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