STMicroelectronics NV, a leading supplier of MEMS and chip products, is working to integrate data fusion and motion processing firmware from Movea SA into the STM32F401 micrcontroller to create a sensor hub controller.
The ability to run Movea data fusion software on the MCU will allow to developers to create context-aware applications that use multiple sensor inputs, but that do not burden a system's main applications processor. Examples include pedestrian navigation and system activity monitoring, ST said in a press release.
Movea's sensor-hub software and firmware gathers data from an accelerometer, a gyroscope, a magnetometer, and a pressure sensor. But using the sensor inputs in aggregate Movea turns that data into information on 3D orientation, into a 3D compass, a gesture lexicon, and so on. Movea is supplying support software for both Android and Windows applications.
The STM32F401 line is based on a Cortex-M4 core from ARM running at clock frequencies up to 84 MHz and comes with a memory interface proprietary to ST and in a package as small as 3 mm by 3 mm.
The addition of Movea software will allow the users to launch applications using gestures when holding their phones and without having to unlock them. Movea also offers Pedestrian Dead Reckoning software that helps track movement and provides a key input to location-based services.
"Our objective is to provide STM32 microcontrollers leveraging high signal processing and math computation, while reducing power consumption," said Michel Buffa, general manager of ST's microcontroller division, in the release. "Embedding Movea IP in an STM32F401 will offload sensor-hub tasks from the application processor, reducing overall power consumption and opening a new world of opportunities for the smart mobile devices of tomorrow," he added.
The STM32F401 plus SmartMotion software and associated development tools will be available in 4Q13, ST said.