editor's blog
Subscribe Now

An Environmental Sensor

The sensor market is highly fragmented. Many sensor companies are good at one or a few sensors based on super-secret ways they have of building them. When combining with other sensors for things like IMUs, they may actually bring in partners for sensors they don’t make themselves, and they may use sensor fusion software from yet another company.

Bosch Sensortec has been taking a different tack, however. As one of the two really big sensor guys, it’s taking the “you don’t need anyone else” approach, doing a wide variety of its own sensors and writing its own fusion code. And, for those that don’t want to customize and optimize the code, they then combine them into complete units that abstract the lower-level stuff away. They refer to these as application-specific sensor nodes (ASSNs).

The first of these was their orientation sensor. And they’ve now announced another one: an environmental sensor, the BME280. It combines pressure, humidity, and temperature sensors. Yes, it pretty much looks like a weather station in 2.5×2.5 mm2 package. Although they say that it has application for fitness as well. And, in fact, they’re touting the pressure sensor as providing an altitude response for indoor navigation (even thought that would seem to be a better fit for the orientation sensor). Its accuracy for that is ±1 m, enough to discriminate floors in a building.

One thing they’re particularly proud of is the humidity sensor. While typical versions take 5-10 seconds to register a value, they can tap the humidity in less than 1 second. They do this using a polymer that absorbs water; when it does, it changes its dielectric constant. Apparently the variables in this physical structure – the choice of polymer, mode of access, layer stack, and thickness – all affect the diffusion time both in and out. (Yeah, after you’re done measuring the humidity right now, you need that water to leave if the outside humidity drops.)

Because it’s in a ported package (the outside air has to get inside to be sampled), they also see this as lending itself well to future gas sensors. So there may be more to come here.

You can read more about the BME280 in their announcement.

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
Sep 22, 2021
3753 Cruithne is a Q-type, Aten asteroid in orbit around the Sun in 1:1 orbital resonance with the Earth, thereby making it a co-orbital object....
Sep 21, 2021
Placing component leads accurately as per the datasheet is an important task while creating a package footprint symbol. As the pin pitch goes down, the size and location of the component lead play a... [[ Click on the title to access the full blog on the Cadence Community si...
Sep 21, 2021
Learn how our high-performance FPGA prototyping tools enable RTL debug for chip validation teams, eliminating simulation/emulation during hardware debugging. The post High Debug Productivity Is the FPGA Prototyping Game Changer: Part 1 appeared first on From Silicon To Softw...
Aug 5, 2021
Megh Computing's Video Analytics Solution (VAS) portfolio implements a flexible and scalable video analytics pipeline consisting of the following elements: Video Ingestion Video Transformation Object Detection and Inference Video Analytics Visualization   Because Megh's ...

featured video

Digital Design Technology Symposium

Sponsored by Synopsys

Are you an SoC designer or manager facing new design challenges driven by rapidly growing and emerging vertical segments for HPC, 5G, mobile, automotive and AI applications?

Join us at the Digital Design Technology Symposium.

featured paper

Configure the charge and discharge current separately in a reversible buck/boost regulator

Sponsored by Maxim Integrated (now part of Analog Devices)

The design of a front-end converter can be made less complicated when minimal extra current overhead is required for charging the supercapacitor. This application note explains how to configure the reversible buck/boost converter to achieve a lighter impact on the system during the charging phase. Setting the charge current requirement to the minimum amount keeps the discharge current availability intact.

Click to read more

featured chalk talk

Build, Deploy and Manage Your FPGA-based IoT Edge Applications

Sponsored by Mouser Electronics and Intel

Designing cloud-connected applications with FPGAs can be a daunting engineering challenge. But, new platforms promise to simplify the process and make cloud-connected IoT design easier than ever. In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton chats with Tak Ikushima of Intel about how a collaboration between Microsoft and Intel is pushing innovation forward with a new FPGA Cloud Connectivity Kit.

Click here for more information about Terasic Technologies FPGA Cloud Connectivity Kit