Today we announced our newest silicon platform, the ArcticLink 3 S1. Our ultra-low power sensor hub (ULPSH) product line, featuring both standard and catalog CSSPs, represents a big leap forward in terms of capability enabled by our brand new reprogrammable fabric. The standard CSSP product allows OEMs to customize the product with their own internally developed, or third-party, sensor algorithms. The catalog CSSP product, the Always-on Context Aware Sensor Hub, allows OEMs to immediately adopt a proven sensor hub solution containing a mix of QuickLogic technologies and Sensor Platform Inc’s FreeMotion library to deliver on our promise of always on sensing at less than 2% of system battery life.
The AL3 S1 features a combination of hard logic and reprogrammable fabric. We’ll get to the reprogrammable part in a second – first, the AL3 S1 features a number of QuickLogic PSB (proven system block) technologies, including the Sensor Manager, the Flexible Fusion Engine (FFE), and Communications Manager. The Sensor Manager PSB is a microcoded state machine used for programmable sensor management, featuring a low power I2C controller that uses dynamic pull-ups to reduce what is typically wasted I/O power. The Sensor Manager is designed in such a way that we can be sensor-vendor agnostic, helping our OEMs use different sensor suppliers quickly. The FFE is a microcoded finite state machine plus CISC-Arithmetic Logic Unit for processing all sensor data. The FFE enables high-speed, accurate processing of multi-axis sensor data for motion awareness and context detection. When coupled with Sensor Platforms’ FreeMotion library, we can deliver a change detector, pedometer and background magnetometer diversity. Finally, the Communications manager provides a power-optimized channel back to the AP through a number of industry-standard selectable interfaces, as well as a Smart FIFO that prevents FIFO overrun and intelligence to optimize interrupt latency.
I mentioned the reprogrammability – this is a key differentiator for our products. Sensors today in smartphones seem to be used mostly for fitness applications; however, as always-on sensing is enabled, we see a whole host of applications being enabled like health monitoring, environmental awareness, and permission-based targeted advertising, among others. As the context of the phone changes (as in, phone is moved from pocket to table, or person moves from sitting to walking), different sensor algorithms can be loaded to the AL3 S1 Sensor Hub’s FFE, allowing run-time reconfigurability of the sensor hub without rebooting the device – the phone will always know what you are doing, and will react accordingly to ensure that it is doing what you want. I take an example from my own life – my phone has a step counter application which works well when the phone is in my pocket. However, if I place the phone on the baby stroller while I run with my children, my steps are not counted. If the phone context could change (i.e., in my pocket to on a platform but still moving), the phone could continue to correctly count my steps based on a fusion of the sensor data the AL3 S1 is receiving and processing.
I am very excited about this new product. Look for more blogs in the coming days that will shed additional light onto this topic, and thanks for reading!