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Toolchain targets edge processing in IMUs

Toolchain targets edge processing in IMUs

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty



STMicroelectronics has developed a new toolchain and supporting software package for the sensor processing unit (ISPU) in its MEMS-based inertial measurement unit (IMU).

The toolchain and software help programme the ISPU in the ISM330IS and LSM6DSO16IS IMUs to handle motion-related workloads such as activity recognition and anomaly detection directly in the sensor. This permits reducing system power and latency, offloading the local microcontroller, and uniquely specializing the behaviour of the sensor to the application.

Using the ISPU toolchain, developers can program the sensor’s intelligent processing unit using the familiar and widespread C programming language. They can choose to work from a command line interface (CLI) or an Eclipse-based environment like STM32CubeIDE, and to use a graphical user interface (GUI) such as AlgoBuilder and Unicleo.

The X-CUBE-ISPU software package contains templates and example projects as well as ready-to-use libraries that help developers quickly understand how to use and program the sensors’ ISPU and can be used as a starting point to implement custom algorithms. Pre-built files are also available, which lets users load the X-CUBE-ISPU examples directly into the sensor using one of the GUIs, with no coding required. In addition, a GitHub repository is available providing more examples, tutorials, and other development resources.

Using these resources helps make short work of developing applications such as personal electronics including wearable devices for activity recognition and health monitoring, as well as industrial devices such as asset trackers, equipment-condition monitors, robots, and machine controllers.

ST’s ISM330IS and LSM6DSO16IS inertial modules contain an always-on 3D accelerometer and 3D gyroscope with the embedded ISPU. They feature low power consumption, drawing as little as 0.46mA in low-power mode, and low noise at 70μg/√Hz in high-performance mode. Sensor hub functionality allows them to collect data from up to four additional external sensors. An embedded temperature sensor is also included, and each device is housed in a compact 2.5mm x 3mm x 0.83mm plastic land grid array (LGA) package.

SPM Instrument in Strängnäs, Sweden, has used the ISPU toolchain and the X-CUBE-ISPU to tailor, in a short time, the ISPU behaviour in their new products for vibration-severity analysis that contain the ISM330IS sensor.

SPM’s sensing is aimed at remote condition monitoring of standard production equipment such as pumps and fans, as well as inaccessible machines and equipment placed in hostile or risky environments. The ISM330IS enabled designers to meet a tight power budget, also overcoming the limited processing capabilities available in the local microcontroller.

The ISPU-toolchain, X-CUBE-ISPU and GitHub model zoo are ready now to download, free of charge, at st.com. The ISM330IS and LSM6DSO16IS intelligent MEMS sensors are in production now and available — with free samples at ST eSTore — or at distributors, priced from $3.92 for the LSM6DSO16IS and $3.97 for the ISM330IS. Demonstrations will take place at the Sensor + Test exhibition in Germany next week.

 www.st.com/ispu; www.spminstrument.com

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