Synopsys and Hillcrest Labs Announce Ultra-Low Power Sensor Processing Solution for Always-On Applications

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA -- Synopsys, Inc. and Hillcrest Labs announce that Hillcrest's Freespace MotionEngine software is optimized for Synopsys' DesignWare Sensor and Control IP Subsystem. Hillcrest's MotionEngine software transforms sensor data into high quality, contextual information that powers sensor-enabled features on a wide range of devices. Synopsys' Sensor and Control IP Subsystem offers designers a pre-verified, system-on-chip (SoC)-ready IP platform optimized to meet sensor and control processing requirements common in "always-on" Internet of Things (IoT) applications. The combination of Hillcrest's intelligent sensor processing software stack and Synopsys' energy-efficient DesignWare Sensor and Control IP Subsystem enables developers of sensor-enabled devices to implement high quality, always-on sensor processing functionality with extremely low power consumption.

"Sensors and sensor processing software are fundamental to compelling, new user experiences in an expanding array of mobile, wearable and IoT devices," said Chad Lucien, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Hillcrest Labs. "The combination of Synopsys' ultra-low power DesignWare Sensor and Control IP Subsystem and our MotionEngine software can achieve the power savings required by the always-on, high performance sensor-enabled applications that are at the forefront of today's consumer electronics market."

Hillcrest's patented Freespace MotionEngine technology provides ultra-low power sensor processing to enable always-on sensing. The software can dramatically extend battery life through context-aware power savings, enabling greater use of a variety of new applications including advanced activity tracking, intuitive gesture recognition and pedestrian navigation. The MotionEngine software intelligently combines data from an array of motion, environmental and biometric sensors to provide a cost-effective way to deploy sensor hubs and enhance mobile, wearable and IoT devices with advanced sensor features.

The highly integrated DesignWare Sensor and Control IP Subsystem processes data from digital and analog sensors and always-on audio sources, consuming only a fraction of the power of discrete processor-based solutions. Hillcrest's software has been optimized to take advantage of the subsystem's low-power capabilities to provide always-on sensing without compromising accuracy, reliability or functionality. The configurable subsystem includes a choice of ARC® EM processors for varied performance needs, and tightly integrated pulse-width modulation (PWM), serial peripheral interface (SPI), Inter-Integrated Circuit (I2C) and Analog to Digital Converter (ADC) and Digital to Analog Converter (DAC) interfaces for a wide range of off-chip sensor and actuator connections. Hillcrest's MotionEngine software utilizes the Sensor and Control IP Subsystem's optional IEEE 754-2008 compliant floating-point unit (FPU) to support applications requiring single- or double-precision floating point operations. The combined hardware-software sensor hub solution is optimized for sensor fusion applications in which an extensive amount of raw sensor input must be processed and transformed into application-ready data while consuming as little energy as possible.

"The proliferation of motion-sensing capabilities in IoT devices requires a new breed of SoCs that deliver extensive processing capabilities, while maintaining low power consumption and a small footprint," said John Koeter, vice president of marketing for IP and prototyping at Synopsys. "We are pleased that Hillcrest ported their MotionEngine software to Synopsys' DesignWare Sensor and Control IP Subsystem. The combined solution provides designers with a power-efficient, pre-integrated sensor hub solution that can be rapidly deployed into SoCs for always-on applications."

Availability and Resources

Synopsys' DesignWare Sensor and Control IP Subsystem is available now from Synopsys and Hillcrest's MotionEngine software is available now from Hillcrest Labs.

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