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Low-power sensor processing sol'n targets always-on apps

04 Mar 2015

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Synopsys and Hillcrest Labs announced that Hillcrest's Freespace MotionEngine software is now optimised for Synopsys' DesignWare Sensor and Control IP Sub-system. The MotionEngine software transforms sensor data into contextual information powering sensor-enabled features on mobile and Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

The Sensor and Control IP Sub-system offers a pre-verified, system-on-chip (SoC)-ready IP platform optimised for IoT applications. The sensor processing solution enables developers of sensor-enabled devices to implement always-on sensor processing functionality that runs on low power.

"Sensors and sensor processing software are fundamental to compelling, new user experiences in an expanding array of mobile, wearable and IoT devices," said Chad Lucien, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Hillcrest Labs. "The combination of Synopsys' ultra-low power DesignWare Sensor and Control IP Sub-system and our MotionEngine software can achieve the power savings required by the always-on, high performance sensor-enabled applications that are at the forefront of today's consumer electronics market."

Hillcrest's Freespace MotionEngine technology provides ultra-low power sensor processing to enable always-on sensing. The software can extend battery life through context-aware power savings, enabling greater use of a variety of new applications including advanced activity tracking, intuitive gesture recognition and pedestrian navigation. The MotionEngine software intelligently combines data from an array of motion, environmental and biometric sensors to provide a cost-effective way to deploy sensor hubs and enhance mobile, wearable and IoT devices with advanced sensor features.

The integrated DesignWare Sensor and Control IP Sub-system process data from digital and analogue sensors and always-on audio sources, consuming only a fraction of the power of discrete processor-based solutions. Hillcrest's software has been optimised to take advantage of the sub-system's low-power capabilities to provide always-on sensing without compromising accuracy, reliability or functionality. The configurable sub-system includes a choice of ARC EM processors for varied performance needs, and tightly integrated pulse-width modulation (PWM), serial peripheral interface (SPI), Inter-Integrated Circuit (I2C) and Analogue to Digital Converter (ADC) and Digital to Analogue Converter (DAC) interfaces for a wide range of off-chip sensor and actuator connections.

Hillcrest's MotionEngine software utilises the Sensor and Control IP Sub-system's optional IEEE 754-2008 compliant floating-point unit (FPU) to support applications requiring single- or double-precision floating point operations. The combined hardware-software sensor hub solution is optimised for sensor fusion applications in which an extensive amount of raw sensor input must be processed and transformed into application-ready data while consuming as little energy as possible.

Synopsys' DesignWare Sensor and Control IP Sub-system is available now from Synopsys and Hillcrest's MotionEngine software is available now from Hillcrest Labs.

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