At the CES 2017 trade show in Las Vegas, Bosch Sensortec announced the company's smallest and best-performing barometric pressure sensor. The company positions the new BMP380 as offering an attractive price-performance ratio coupled with low power consumption. The small package size of only 2 mm × 2 mm × 0.75 mm complies with new industry benchmarks and is more than one-third smaller than the previous-generation BMP280, thus offering increased placement flexibility.
The microelectromechanical system (MEMS)-based BMP380 is aimed at the growing markets of gaming, sports and health management, as well as indoor and outdoor navigation. By measuring barometric pressure, the sensor enables drones, smartphones, tablets, wearables and other mobile devices to accurately determine altitude changes in both indoor and outdoor environments.
Wide range of applications
Typical applications for the new barometric pressure sensor include altitude stabilization in drones, where altitude information is used to improve flight stability and landing accuracy. This simplifies drone steering, thereby making drones attractive for a broader range of users. Bosch says the BMP380 can also substantially improve calorie expenditure measurement accuracy in wearables and mobile devices—for example, by identifying whether a person is walking upstairs or downstairs in a step-tracking application. Especially in hilly environments, this allows runners and cyclists to significantly improve the monitoring accuracy of their performance. Incorporating the sensor into smartphones, tablets and wearables can improve indoor and outdoor navigation and localization applications by using altitude data to determine the user's floor level in a building.
Pressure and temperature data can be stored in the sensor's built-in, 512-byte, first-in/first-out (FIFO) buffer. The new FIFO and interrupt functionality provide simple access to data and storage. This greatly improves ease of use while helping to reduce power consumption to only 2.0 µA during full operation at one measurement per second.
The sensor is more accurate than its predecessors, covering a wide measurement range from 300 hectopascals (hPA) to 1250 hPA. Tests in real-life environments have verified a relative accuracy of ±0.06 hPa (±0.5m) over a temperature range of 25° C to 40° C. The absolute accuracy between 300 and 1100 hPa is ±0.5 hPa over a temperature range of 0° C to 65° C.
The BMP380 will be available for selected customers with the start of channel promotion in the second quarter of 2017.