MegaChips designs Bosch into navigation subsystem
Called Chignon B the reference subsystem design provides context and location awareness and is aimed at supporting health, fitness and indoor navigation applications on the equipment. It is based on the "Frizz" sensor hub IC, and SiTime ST1602 programmable oscillator from MegaChips and MEMS sensors BMI160, BMM150 and BME280 from Bosch Sensortec.
MegaChips announced the development of the Frizz sensor hub in October 2014 with plans to ship 10 million units in FY2015. The Frizz is based on the Tensilica Xtensa LX4-based 32bit DSP licensed from Cadence operating at up to 40MHz.
This was developed to be an "always-on" sensor hub that could detect motion as part of a wake-up function and to perform "status detection" and pedestrian dead reckoning based on sensor inputs.
Kenji Nakamura, deputy general manager of the ASSP product business at MegaChips, claimed the Frizz would "significantly change the world of smartphones and wearable devices."
However, it should be noted that pedestrian dead-reckoning systems have been notoriously inaccurate in the past and not worth including on a mobile phone according to a Nokia executive less than one year ago (see Has indoor navigation lost its way?). The addition of Bluetooth beacons with accurate position information can aid such systems.
Next: Smaller and more accurate.
"With each generation, devices are getting smaller and more accurate," said Utah Iwasaki, manager of business development at MegaChips Technology America Corporation, in a statement. "Our new joint solution with first-rate sensors from Bosch enables longer lasting wearable devices that collect more accurate data on movement, speed, distance and direction."
Research firm ABI reckons 42 million wearable fitness and health devices will be shipped in 2014, up from 32 million in 2013. It doesn’t say how many of these devices will end up at the back of drawers after a few trial outings.
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