MEMS and Sensors

MEMS Group Unveils Open-source Sensor Cooperative

06 November 2014

The MEMS Industry Group (MIG) has introduced what it calls the first open-source algorithm cooperative, dubbed Accelerated Innovation Community (AIC), designed to reduce time-to-market, startup costs, risks and barriers-to-entry through cooperation in the MEMS/sensor supply chain.

The announcement of the AIC was made during the MEMS Executive Congress 2014 taking place this week. The inaugural AIC member is Freescale Semiconductor Inc. that as a result of the cooperative has introduced a sensor fusion development kit that works with Freescale’s sensors and Kinetis microcontrollers with Bluetooth.

Karen Lightman, executive director of MIG, said in a statement that when companies begin developing devices that use microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) or sensors, “they often have to develop algorithms from scratch.” As a result, this constrains innovation in design. Using an open source library of algorithms, designers can “jumpstart their development process” allowing the designers to gain “all the benefits of MEMS/sensors that much faster,” she said.

Freescale’s sensor fusion development kit aims to shorten design cycles and spark innovation for the Internet of Things (Iot), the company said. The kit, while designed to work with Freescale semiconductors, also works with AIC’s open-source sensor fusion software to help designers deploy sensors into new applications and products.

“Sensor fusion is a fundamental building block for today’s secure embedded processing solutions. Although it has been in the market for several years, sensor fusion has so far been kept proprietary, and this has unnecessarily slowed its broader adoption,” said Babak Taheri, vice president and general manager of Freescale’s sensor solutions division, in a different statement. Taheri added the development kit along with AIC’s open-source initiative will help engineers “unleash the benefits of sensor fusion technology” leading to “compelling new IoT products and services.”

Sensor fusion software leverages and synthesizes the features of multiple sensors, enabling accurate data for motion, location, orientation and title information. Until now, the software was complex and difficult to develop, Freescale said. The AIC open-source software allows for quicker and simpler sensor customization and optimization.

The bundled sensor fusion development kit from Freescale is slated for availability later this month priced at $170.

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