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QuickLogic sensor hub slashes power use of app processors

Posted: 03 Aug 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:QuickLogic? sensor hub? application processor? SoC? wearable?

QuickLogic has rolled out a sensor hub that incorporates a half-dozen hardware accelerators including its own field programmable gate array (FPGA) and an ARM Cortex-4F, which it can serve as the application processor SoC for wearables as well as significantly off-load the app processor of any smartphone using it.

"We believe Eos S3 SoC is the industry°s first sensor-processing platform to combine multiple cores optimised to run sensor fusion, voice recognition and general-purpose processing in a single device at such low power consumption levels," said Andy Pease, QuickLogic's president and CEO.

"The big challenge today, is that designers want to run more sophisticated algorithms while simultaneously cutting power consumption to increase battery life," noted Brian Faith, VP of worldwide sales and marketing, QuickLogic. "We designed Eos S3 specifically to solve that problem with low-power hardware accelerators customised for the most difficult apps smartphones and wearables run today."

Sensor fusion is, of course, the first of these difficult tasks to which Eos S3 dedicates two hardware accelerators, the first can manage the inputs from up to 20 external microelectromechanical system (MEMS) or other sensors and the second can fuse those sensor inputs into usable functions, such as "device in pocket," "raise hand to view," "on bicycle," "in elevator," "in car," "swimming," "walking," "sleeping, "running" "pedestrian dead reckoning," indoor navigation," motion compensated heart-rate monitoring" and dozens of other real-time tasks dependent on sophisticated sensor fusion. The FPGA can also be brought into play to fuse the outputs from an odd-ball sensor or to sense an odd-ball user state such as "fell down," or "parachuting" or to perform critical IP security tasks.

Smart sensor hub

Smarter sensor hub offloads application processor in smartphone from speech detection, command recognition and integral FPGA for application-specific sensor fusion. (Source: QuickLogic)

One of the most useful on-chip accelerators is its always-on, at 350?A, speech detection engine, which only turns on the power consuming task of recognising speech commands when the sound coming in from the microphones are really vocalisations. QuickLogic had partnered with Sensory Inc. to bundle its "TrulyHandsFree" algorithms to allow a variety of speech commands to be recognised on-chip without the need for a connection to the cloud.

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