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IEEE standard reinforces innovation in sensors

Posted: 22 Sep 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IEEE? standard? sensor? 2700-2014?

Sensor hubs get working group hug

The new IEEE 2700-2014 standard will also assist OEMS and ISVs (independent software vendors) trying to integrate multiple sensors on 6-axis, 9-axis, and someday even 14-axis devices with on-chip hubs, including accelerometers, magnetometers, gyroscopes, altimeters, humidity sensors, temperature sensors, ambient light sensors, and proximity sensors. "By providing standard parameter definitions, IEEE 2700-2014 makes it much more likely that an OEM can support multiple sensor hub implementations with lowered risk of compatibility problems, because those alternate systems are more easily compared," Mike Stanley, manager system algorithms, at Freescale Semiconductor told EE Times:

Having standardised definitions works for everyone. Sensor manufacturers benefit because they now have standard definitions for reuse during design, development and characterisation of their products. Test equipment makers benefit from having a common language with the component makers. Designers benefit because they can more easily compare and contrast parts. Algorithm developers benefit because it becomes easier to understand system trade-offs resulting from sensor selection. And OEMs get an improved supply chain. Everyone wins.

Standard terminology should eventually ease sensor-hub makers' burden. "The main issue that this new IEEE standard targets is device datasheets," Gaitan told EE Times. System integrators use device datasheets to judge trade-offs. "Uniform terminology to describe device performance and in the tests that are made to determine the performance parameters will result in greater interoperability of these advanced sensor technologies, and thus an easier time in making their sensor hubs compatible with different sensors from different manufactures," Gaitan told EE Times.

Foust, the chairman of the IEEE 2700 Working Group, agrees. "Sensor hub makers will have an easier time making their sensor hubs compatible with different sensors because sensor performance assessment will now be more of a simulation, due to more accurate performance specification, versus physical, which requires manufacturers of sensor hardware for all sensor vendors/types." Thus the OEM will have an easier time comparing virtues of the same kind of sensor from different manufactures, Foust told EE Times.

Reducing cost and time to market

The standard "is similarly valuable to application processor vendors such as Intel and Qualcomm," Foust told EE Times. "This isn't the loftiest of goals, but it's a start and it applies to a large current set of sensors and will be expanded to include an ever growing list of sensors and parameters in the future."

MIG's Whalley agrees that the IEEE2700-2014 will make it easier for OEMs to compare MEMS devices as well as reduce costs.

"The chipset manufacturers and OEMs who use sensors in their platforms now have a much better and defined way of comparing sensor performance attributes across multiple sensor types and manufacturers. This will help reduce costs, increase time to market and provide scalability as sensors are used in existing and new markets," Whalley told EE Times. "This will allow sensors from different manufacturers to be interchanged much more-easily than if the sensors had non-uniform parameters as was the case prior to the IEEE 2700 document. "Being able to chose sensors from different manufacturers now who specify their components based on the IEEE 2700 document will speed up evaluation and deployment of the sensors and thus reduce platform integration costs."

MIG, the MEMS Technology Working Group, iNEMI, ITRS, and the MIPI Alliance also are working on more MEMS and sensor standards for the future.

- R. Colin Johnson
??EE Times

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