Fairchild kicked off its first MEMS product offering today with the introduction of the FIS1100, a highly accurate system solution for motion tracking that can give designers a huge, 10X savings in processor power consumption. For the battery-operated applications that the FIS1100 was designed for – think wearable sensors for sports, fitness, and health; pedestrian navigation; autonomous robots; and virtual and augmented reality – conserving energy is an imperative and 10X is huge. The longer a battery-powered product can run before its next charge or replacement will determine features, functions, price points, and, ultimately, the user experience for succeeding in the marketplace.
The overall principle behind the FIS1100’s power savings is simple because in large part it’s all to do with conserving how much computational work you make an application’s host processor do. Significant computational resources are needed to perform the necessary 6-axis and/or 9-axis sensor fusion to achieve the high-levels of accuracy that leads to a great user experience. The block diagram in Figure 1 compares the FIS1100 computational architecture to a traditional architecture. Typically, designers stream high-rate sensor data from an IMU to the application processor, but as you might imagine, this is all at the expense of the processor’s ability to conserve energy and support other parts of the system.
The FIS1100 takes a load off the host processor by integrating a 6-axis MEMS Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) with an integrated proprietary motion processor Fairchild calls the AttitudeEngine™. The AttitudeEngine processes the 6-axis inertial data at a high rate and outputs that data to the host processor at a lower rate according to the needs of a given application. For the host processor, this means, among other things, far fewer high-frequency interrupts, leading to less power drain.
Figure 2 below shows how typical implementations stack up against the FIS1100 solution.
The FIS1100 comes bundled with XKF3 high-performance 9-axis sensor fusion algorithms from Xsens to complete the solution. This high-performance, 9-axis sensor fusion provides roll, pitch, and yaw orientation specs and continuous sensor calibration, making for quick and easy system adoption for designers to implement highly accurate systems.
FIS1100 is the cornerstone for a new product portfolio cemented by the acquisition of Jyve Semiconductor in 2011 for innovative MEMS processing technology, and Xsens, just over a year ago, for what are arguably the World’s best motion tracking algorithms. Click on Motion Tracking under Topics to the right for more background.
Development kits and FIS1100 devices for production are available today through our distributors. For technical information and ordering details, click here to go to the FIS1100 Product Page.
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