Tag Archives: Sensor Platforms

How to make the IoT a reality

ARM will be chairing a symposium on the sidelines of the upcoming Sensors Expo and Conference in Chicago on Jun 24th from 9AM to 5PM. Titled Making the Internet of Things a Reality: A Toolkit for Designing “Smart,” key speakers include Atmel’s Adrian Woolley, ARM’s Zach Shelby and Sensor Platforms CTO Kevin Shaw.

According to ARM’s Will Tu, Kevin Shaw will be kicking off the session with an overview of how IoT devices can evolve to optimize their interaction with humans – ultimately becoming invisible and predictive.

“We can see sensor fusion at work with smartphones, tablets and wearables and today as they apply the concept of contextual awareness of where a user is and what he or she might be doing,” Tu writes in a recent blog post. “From this awareness a device can respond to offer a service, enable features on a device, conserve valuable battery power or delight users in some novel way. Sensor fusion will bring the same type of value to embedded devices and  these software algorithms will be the key to unlocking the commercial value proposition of future IoT device.”

Next up is ARM’s very own Zach Shelby, a thought leader in the industry who has been heavily involved in connectivity from his early days as co-founder of Sensinode. Zach is currently a key contributor at the IETF for IoT standards with contributions in 6LoWPAN, routing, web services and security related standards, ETSI and OMA standardization on M2M and in several top international research programs.

Atmel’s Adrian Woolley will then discuss the hardware side of the IoT. A 25-year veteran of the semiconductor market, Woolley is the Director of Strategy and Business Development at Atmel’s microcontroller business unit. He has an extensive background in mobile and communication markets, along with a considerable amount of embedded experience in microcontrollers.

“When you are talking about hardware building blocks, Atmel can offer more than just MCUs; they also provide radio technologies,” says Shaw.

Interested in learning more? You can access the symposium’s official page here for additional details and registration information. Readers may also want to check out Atmel’s recent IoT SoMa panel on the subject herePatrick Sullivan’s EELive! 2014 presentation here and our extensive Bits & Pieces IoT article archive here.

IoT sensor fusion with ARM and Atmel on Google+

Sensors convert physical world characteristics into raw data that is subsequently processed by various hardware and software platforms. As the name implies, sensor fusion combines sensory data from multiple sources to improve the overall state of the system being observed.

As we’ve previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, ensuring an extended battery life is perhaps the most important criterion for any device with integrated sensors.

On Tuesday, February 18, ARM will be hosting a live Google+ Hangout panel with executives from Atmel, Freescale and Sensor Platforms. 

The panelists are slated to discuss various software and hardware design techniques that can help IoT developers achieve a precise balance between low power sipping and high software complexity.

You can follow the panel discussion and access the live video feed from the following links:

Panelists include:


Diya Soubra – CPU Product Marketing Manager for Cortex-M ARM Processors at ARM
  • Adrian Woolley – Director of Strategy and Business Development at Atmel’s Microcontroller Business Unit

Mike Stanley – Manager of Freescale’s Sensor Solutions Division
Kevin A. Shaw – CTO of Sensor Platforms
  • Will Tu – Director of Embedded Segment Marketing at ARM

We’ll see you on Tuesday, February 18!!!

FreeMotion Library selected for Atmel’s SAM D20

Atmel has selected Sensor Platforms’ FreeMotion Library as part of a rapidly growing ecosystem to support its low power, high-performance flexible SAM D20 Cortex M0+ core.

As we’ve previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, the ARM-based SAM D20 core is specifically tailored for sensor hubs and sensor-focused software. Its optimized features and flexible development ecosystem allow Atmel customers to create unique and differentiating products incorporating always-on sensors.

“As sensors increasingly find their way into all kinds of mobile devices, wearables and IoT (Internet of Things) applications, there is a huge premium on providing always-on functionality at a tiny fraction of system power – and we found this in the FreeMotion Library from Sensor Platforms,” said Dr. Reza Kazerounian, Sr. VP and GM, Microcontroller Business Unit, Atmel Corporation. “Software from our partners is available now and compatible with our own development environments.”

Dan Brown, CEO of Sensor Platforms, expressed similar sentiments and noted that the company’s low-power solution offers best-in-class capabilities to optimize power consumption, thereby enabling longer battery life.

“[Our] FreeMotion Library makes sensor fusion and user context awareness available in smartphones and tablets, in order to: combine and process data from installed sensors and microprocessors; better interpret users’ movements and situations; and infer users’ intents,” Brown explained.

“The library makes it easy for device OEMs to purchase their sensors and microprocessors from multiple suppliers without damaging user experience. It also automatically optimizes sensor and platform power consumption based on user movement and contexts to enable longer battery life.”

Atmel expands sensor hub partnerships

Atmel has teamed up with a number of leading sensor manufacturers to accelerate the development of devices targeted at the rapidly evolving Internet of Things (IoT), wearable tech market and consumer sensor hubs. New partners include Bosch, Hillcrest Labs, Intersil, Kionix, MEMS IC, Sensirion and Sensor Platforms.


“Collaboration with leading sensor manufacturers will enable Atmel to provide customers with the most appropriate sensor and firmware solutions, thereby reducing overall time-to-market,” Espen Krangnes, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Atmel Corporation, told Bits & Pieces. “Plus, the sensor manufacturers offer sensor extension boards (AKA wings) to connect with Atmel’s sensor hub platform. These are used to accelerate the prototyping process – along with software that is fully compatible with our development ecosystem.”

As Krangnes notes, the expansion of Atmel’s sensor hub platform partnerships will undoubtedly help customers leverage additional technologies such as QTouch, wireless, graphical user interface (GUI) and sensor connectivity for their designs.

“Our versatile sensor hub solutions combine inputs from different sensors and sensor types which range from motion sensors, such as accelerometers, magnetometers, gyroscopes and environmental sensors, offering light level, color, temperature, pressure and humidity, along with numerous other inputs,” he continued. “This provides real-time direction, orientation and inclination data – facilitating optimized performance for a wide range of applications such as gaming, navigation, augmented reality and contextual awareness.”

In addition to teaming up with leading sensor manufacturers, Atmel is also expanding its sensor hub solutions with the introduction of the SAM D20 Cortex M0+, an ultra-low power, high-performance flexible core equipped with a number of intelligent peripherals along with a variety of communication features.

As we’ve previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, Atmel’s SAM D20 Cortex M0+-based MCU builds on decades of innovation and experience in embedded Flash MCU. The device offers ultra-low power via a patented power-saving technique known as an “Event System,” which enables peripherals to communicate directly to each other without involving the CPU. In addition, the device facilitates peripheral flexibility via an innovative serial communication module (SERCOM) that is fully software-configurable, handling I2C, USART/UART and SPI communications. Finally, the devices boast various memory densities, ranging from 16KB to 256KB, with devices available in 32-, 48- and 64-pin QFP and QFN package options.

“With the increasing number of sensors in consumer devices today, low power is a key differentiator for battery-powered devices,” said Krangnes. “This is precisely why Atmel’s Cortex M0+ core offers consumer electronic designers the ability to design next-gen devices which fuse disparate data from various sensors without utilizing significant power.”

Krangnes also noted that Atmel’s SAM D20 is only the first of many devices in the series specifically tailored for sensor hubs, with the ultra-low power sipping lineup featuring an external flexible development ecosystem bundled with the top sensors and related software in the market.

“Simply put, we provide designers with flexible operating system (OS) capability, as Atmel’s sensor hub solutions support a wide range of operating systems, including Windows, Android, and, now, real-time operating systems (RTOS). Remember, the market for sensors is expected to increase to nearly $91.5 billion by 2016,” he added. “With more sensors being integrated into today’s devices, there is an increasing demand to offload the application processor with a standalone microcontroller that intelligently fuses sensor data.”

Interested in learning more about Atmel’s sensor hub platform solutions? You can check out our official product page here.