QuickLogic (Sunnyvale, CA) has announced the introduction of the ArcticLink 3 S1, an Ultra-Low Power Sensor Hub Solution Platform for mobile devices.  The S1 platform integrates sensor management and fusion, optimizes application processor communication, and enables always-on context awareness by reducing power consumption to approximately 1 percent of system power.

The current generation of smartphones typically implements sensor fusion with software running on a microcontroller/microprocessor or with fixed-function application specific standard products (ASSPs).  These microcontroller or microprocessor-based solutions do not operate at a low enough power to keep the impact on battery life at less than 1 percent without increasing the battery capacity, which is costly in terms of cost, size, and weight.  Additionally, the ASSP solutions do not currently have the flexibility required to utilize the new algorithms that are being developed for context awareness.

QuickLogic re-invented the sensor hub architecture by coupling a micro-coded state machine for front-end sensor management with an ultra-low power Complex Instruction Set Computer (CISC-based) arithmetic logic unit (ALU) for real-time sensor data processing, and an embedded array of reprogrammable logic.  The new platform enables the offloading of real-time management and computing of sensor data from the smartphone application processor to achieve power levels that enable the next set of sensor use cases in mobile devices, or always-on context awareness.  OEMs and third-party software developers can now realize the myriad of applications requiring always-on context awareness such as step counting and other health and fitness monitoring, pedestrian dead reckoning/indoor navigation, consumer behavior analysis, targeted advertising, real-time sports data collection, augmented reality, and more.


  • The Sensor Manager implements a very low power I2C master interface that communicates with multi-axis sensors such as accelerometers, magnetometers, gyroscopes, ambient light sensors, and pressure sensors, sampling and buffering multiple seconds of the sensor data at extremely low power levels while allowing the system’s application processor to remain asleep. 
  • The integrated Flexible Fusion Engine (FFE) is specifically designed to process, filter, and interpret sensor data prior to sending to the host application processor. 
  • The micro-code running on the FFE can be programmed to implement a host of complex arithmetic functions associated with sensor fusion, background sensor calibration and context change algorithms. 
  • The ArcticLink 3 S1 platform is capable of fast response motion sensing for high speed gaming and image stabilization applications and has a programmable communications manager that optimizes data transfers to the host application processor. 
  • The platform can be customized for different OEM requirements.

In addition to the platform, QuickLogic has developed a software tool, called Flexible Fusion Engine Algorithm Tool (FFEAT), for developers to define, simulate and map their algorithms to the FFE.  The patent-pending system solution of the AL3S1 platform and the FFEAT tool represents a paradigm shift in how OEMs deploy sensor algorithms in a very energy-efficient implementation.

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