Freescale Semiconductor’s (NYSE: FSL) 12-axis Xtrinsic sensor hub platform, offering advanced sensor fusion capabilities, has been certified by Microsoft ® as meeting its requirements for Windows ® 8 OS-based portable devices. The solution recently has been integrated into next-generation Windows 8 OS-based ultra books and hybrid PCs from major manufacturers, planned for release later this quarter.
ABI Research forecasts that the use of MEMS-based sensors (like those in Freescale’s 12-axis Xtrinsic sensor platform for Windows 8) in smart portable devices will continue to grow throughout the next five years. By 2017, the revenue for MEMS sensors in smartphones is forecast to reach $4.4 billion, and revenue from media tablets will grow to nearly $835 million.
“Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system expands the capability for running smartphone and tablet applications with the computing power of a PC,” said Seyed Paransun, vice president and general manager of Freescale’s Sensor & Actuator Solutions Division. “Freescale is prepared with Xtrinsic technology to serve these high-growth segments.”
Freescale’s 12-axis Xtrinsic sensor platform for Windows 8 is a comprehensive solution comprised of critical hardware and software components that allow designers to quickly and easily develop smarter, more accurate portable devices. Microsoft certification helps assure users will experience a plug-and-play solution that reduces integration complexity and enables faster time to market.Freescale’s 12-axis Xtrinsic sensor platform for Windows 8 includes a 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis magnetometer, precision altimeter, pressure and temperature sensor, an analog ambient light sensor and selection of compatible gyroscopes. Freescale’s ColdFire+ MCF51JU128VHS microcontroller acts as a sensor hub, providing sensor data collection, computational capability and host interface functionality to provide sensor fusion aligned to Windows 8 requirements. The platform leverages the individual strengths of each sensor to synthesize environmental inputs, such as motion, location and ambient light, into more accurate outputs, resulting in an enhanced user experience with a more reliable and sensitive device. These sensor fusion tasks are offloaded from the host processor to the Freescale sensor hub, thus enabling more customizable and efficient solutions that support longer device battery life.