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Silicon Labs debuts low-power heart rate monitor

11 Jan 2016

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Silicon Labs has rolled out an optical heart rate sensing solution geared to minimise the cost and complexity of wrist-based heart rate monitoring (HRM) applications. The Si1144 HRM solution packs a low-power optical sensor module paired with an energy-friendly EFM32 Gecko MCU running Silicon Labs' advanced HRM algorithm.

The small-footprint Si1144 sensor module integrates an optical sensor, green LED, LED drivers supporting up to two external LEDs, ADC, control logic and an I2C digital interface.

Si1144 block diagram

Si1144 block diagram

The Si1144-AAGX HRM module features: accurate sensing of weak blood flow signals on the wrist with exceptional performance rivalling chest strap HRM designs; a choice of two algorithms to support static HRM and optional dynamic (motion-compensated) HRM using data from an external accelerometer; and HRM solution that pairs optical module with a Pearl Gecko MCU containing a DSP-enabled ARM Cortex-M4 core for low-power, high-performance designs or with a Cortex M3-based Jade Gecko MCU for simpler, cost-sensitive designs.

Additionally, the module flaunts fully integrated HRM IC with green LED lens, high-sensitivity photodiode, low-noise ADC, LED drivers, optical blocking and host communications/interrupts; two LED drivers to support up to two external LEDs; ultra-low power consumption for long battery life in wearables: < 500nA standby current with 1.71V to 3.6V supply voltage; I2C serial communications with up to 3.4Mb/s data rate

Available in 10-lead 4.9mm x 2.85mm x 1.2mm LGA module package, samples and production quantities of the Si1144-AAGX HRM module are available. The Si1144 module along with Silicon Labs' HRM algorithm is priced at $2.82 in 10,000-unit quantities. The HRM44-GGG-PS development board, priced at $57.60, enables developers to jumpstart evaluation and development of wrist-based HRM applications.

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