Reducing power consumption and extending battery life remains a critical concern for mobile device OEMs. QuickLogic is addressing these demands with its second-generation sensor-hub platform -- the ArcticLink 3 S2 -- which boasts significant advancements in programmable logic capacity, processing capacity, on-device algorithm memory, and sensor data buffer memory, all while delivering a dramatic reduction in active power to <150µ W at 1.2V.
Using the ultra-low-power ArcticLink 3 S2 sensor hub to monitor and process data from myriad sensors allows the main power-guzzling application processor or microcontroller to spend most of its time in low-power sleep mode.
As can be seen from QuickLogic's Sensor Hub webpage, as compared to its predecessor, this second-generation hub offers 400% greater computational performance, 400% more algorithm capacity, and 800% more sensor data buffer memory, all with 30% lower power consumption.
Of particular interest to developers is the fact that the ArcticLink 3 S2 ultra-low power sensor hub for smartphones and wearables is fully compatible with the previous generation ArcticLink 3 S1. In addition to being pin-compatible, all sensor algorithms and technologies developed on the S1 through QuickLogic's IDE are fully forwards-compatible to the S2.
The ArcticLink 3 S2 contains programmable fabric designed for low power implementation of smartphone and wearable-specific technologies such as IrDA Remote Control, Barcode Transmission, PWM control of display brightness and LEDs.
The ArcticLink 3 S2 is designed to support up to 12 sensors simultaneously. As shown below, QuickLogic has an evaluation and development two-board combo that is provided free to legitimate customers.
The board on the left is simply an off-the-shelf USB bridge, which allows the sensor development board to communicate to a PC or a smartphone. Users can develop new algorithms on the PC, and then download them into the programmable fabric on the ArcticLink 3 S2, which is the tiny chip in the upper-right-hand corner of the right-hand board (surrounded by a white line).
OEMs can separate the two boards, and then use SPI to connect the right-hand sensor hub board to their own boards. The sensor hub board itself boasts a variety of sensors. Additional sensors can be connected via the 4-pin I2C interface presented on the upper right-hand side of the sensor board.
The ArcticLink 3 S2 is available in CSSP and Catalog CSSP variants. According to QuickLogic:
The CSSP variant provides OEMs the opportunity to develop customized versions of the S2, and choose from QuickLogic-developed, third-party, and/or OEM-developed sensor algorithms to address specific end product requirements for best-in-class performance. The first Catalog CSSP variant, called the ArcticLink 3 S2 Gesture and Context Catalog CSSP, provides out-of-the-box support for gestures such as tap-to-wake and rotate-to-wake, along with providing enhanced context and significant motion detection, sensor calibration functions, and enhanced pedometer (including differentiation and step counts of running, jogging, and walking).
The ArcticLink 3 S2 CSSP and Context and Gesture Catalog CSSP variants are sampling now (click here for more information).
— Max Maxfield, Editor of All Things Fun & Interesting