Electronics & Computers

Freescale Intros Xtrinsic eCompass Software

February 29, 2012

New sensor fusion solution delivers highly accurate context awareness for mobile, 3D gaming, and eHealth applications.

BARCELONA, Spain--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Smart devices in a variety of markets require precise heading information from multiple sensors to better understand the context of their surroundings. Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE: FSL) announced Xtrinsic eCompass software, a new sensor fusion solution that works together with a Freescale Xtrinsic accelerometer and magnetometer to provide highly accurate magnetic data. With Xtrinsic eCompass software, mobile applications such as augmented reality, 3D gaming, eHealth and location-based services have faster and more accurate orientation data with optimized performance to significantly enhance the user experience.

"As multiple sensors are added to smartphones and other mobile devices, more sophisticated software is required to realize the system performance benefits of a multi-axis sensor system," said Seyed Paransun, vice president and general manager of Freescale's Sensor & Actuator Solutions Division. "Our new Xtrinsic eCompass software is just one example of providing Xtrinsic sensor solutions supported and differentiated by performance oriented software algorithms for quick implementation and time to market."

According to an IHS iSuppli MEMS & Sensors H2 2011 Special Report, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of magnetic sensors is 14 percent in the wireless market and 56 percent in the consumer market, while global revenue from motion sensor technology in smartphones and tablets is expected to nearly double over the next five years, expanding from $1.1 billion in 2011 to $1.9 billion by 2015. Mobile applications rely on compass readings based on combined data extracted from magnetometers and accelerometers, and Xtrinsic eCompass calibration and compensation software is necessary to correct for magnetic distortions prevalent in today's complex devices.

Advanced sensor fusion algorithms allow the inherent strengths of various sensors to trade off one another in order to achieve far greater optimization. Using Freescale's Xtrinsic eCompass software, designers can quickly solve their design challenges and employ highly accurate sensing technologies for a variety of mobile applications. Supporting application note documentation, development tools and an embedded simulation framework are just a few of the essential tools provided to make this software integration effort seamless.

Xtrinsic eCompass software: product features
The combination of Freescale's Xtrinsic accelerometers and Xtrinsic MAG3110 magnetometer with Xtrinsic eCompass software enables full tilt-compensated and calibrated electronic compass data. Available in source code for exclusive use with Freescale's Xtrinsic smart sensing solutions and compatible with existing mobile operating systems and hardware, Xtrinsic eCompass software is easily integrated with a full range of mobile solutions.

Freescale's Xtrinsic eCompass software features include:

  • Xtrinsic eCompass with tilt-compensation
  • Roll, pitch and compass angles
  • 4 parameter hard iron only option
  • 7 parameter hard iron with soft iron gain calibration
  • 10 parameter hard iron with full off axis soft iron calibration
  • Standard ANSI C source code
  • 20 KB compiled code size
  • 6.5 KB RAM requirement
  • Sensor simulation module included for immediate verification

Availability and pricing
Xtrinsic eCompass software is available online through a click-through software license.

  • The four-element model supports hard iron interference correction and is available free of charge for evaluation and for commercial use if used with the Xtrinisic MAG3110. This is recommended for customers with minimal soft iron distortion and limitation to processor RAM.
  • The seven-element model supports both hard iron and soft iron interference correction and is available free of charge if used with the Xtrinsic MAG3110. This is recommended for customers with typical soft iron interference.
  • The ten-element model and customer solutions will continue to be supported through manual license agreements

Freescale's Sensor Toolbox is a common platform for accelerometers, magnetometers, pressure and touch sensors. The development board for use in electronic compass development is the Xtrinsic MAG3110 magnetometer RD4247MAG3110 development board with the USB board for a suggested resale price of $99 (USD).

A proven leader in sensing solutions
Expanding on its more than 30-year heritage of sensor innovation, Freescale's Xtrinsic sensing solutions are designed with the right combination of high-performance sensing capability, processing capacity and customizable software to help deliver smart, differentiated sensing applications. With Xtrinsic sensing solutions, Freescale's vision is to offer a diverse and differentiated product portfolio to meet the expanding needs of the automotive, consumer and industrial segments. Xtrinsic solutions offer distinct blends of functionality and intelligence designed to help customers differentiate and win in highly competitive markets.

About Freescale
Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE:FSL) is a global leader in embedded processing solutions, providing industry leading products that are advancing the automotive, consumer, industrial and networking markets. From microprocessors and microcontrollers to sensors, analog integrated circuits and connectivity - our technologies are the foundation for the innovations that make our world greener, safer, healthier and more connected. Some of our key applications and end-markets include automotive safety, hybrid and all-electric vehicles, next generation wireless infrastructure, smart energy management, portable medical devices, consumer appliances and smart mobile devices. The company is based in Austin, Texas, and has design, research and development, manufacturing and sales operations around the world.

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