New Xtrinsic intelligent sensing framework eases integration, speeds development and boosts differentiation for sensor applications.
To speed and simplify the development of embedded systems that incorporate multiple sensing technologies, Freescale Semiconductor is now offering the Xtrinsic intelligent sensing framework (ISF). The framework provides software infrastructure and programming interfaces that enable Xtrinsic sensors like the FXLC95000CL platform or Freescale’s Kinetis microcontrollers to serve as sensor hubs, eliminating time-intensive sensor integration tasks and allowing developers to focus on differentiating their specific applications.
The proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly introducing embedded intelligence and sophisticated sensing technologies to a broad array of industrial systems, medical equipment, consumer devices and other products. While the incorporation of more sensors into product designs enables compelling functionality and promising new applications, it also presents substantial challenges. Embedded developers face increased complexity related to capturing, interpreting and efficiently leveraging disparate information – often collected from multiple sensors – and then appropriately applying this data to different domains and use cases.
“We have entered an age where sensor fusion remains important, but is no longer enough. Developers need an open platform that enables data fusion and facilitates the creation of differentiated, context-aware devices that drive the Internet of Things,”
Babak Taheri, vice president and general manager of Freescale’s Sensor and Actuator Solutions Division, said:
“Freescale is giving designers the building blocks to collect and transform sensor data by adding their own specialty IP. This in turn removes the ‘backend’ work associated with sensor fusion and frees designers to innovate and create contextual awareness in next-generation connected devices.”
According to a recent report from analyst firm IHS, the market for MEMS sensors is expected to grow 13 percent in 2013 and continue to grow by double digits until 2016, when it will reach $2.21 billion (USD). Pressure sensors, gyroscopes and combination sensors incorporated in intelligent devices are expected to help drive this growth. Software for aggregating and fusing data from the growing number and variety of sensors is increasingly important to support new and advanced applications.
Freescale’s Xtrinsic ISF is an open framework that provides a run-time environment for executing custom embedded applications. The Xtrinsic ISF exposes a unified interface for obtaining data from multiple sensor types. ISF sensor adapters handle all of the sensor communication details, making it easy to add new sensors to a system without worrying about the details of sensor communications. Together with its power management, bus management, command interpreter and host proxy functions, the Xtrinsic ISF reduces integration effort and shortens design time. The Xtrinsic ISF also enables new sensor adapters to be written and integrated to handle additional sensor types for customized solutions.
Freescale’s Xtrinsic ISF is compatible with the Xtrinsic FXLC95000CL platform, which integrates an embedded 3-axis accelerometer and an embedded ColdFire 32-bit microcontroller (MCU) running the small-footprint MQX 3.7 operating system. The Xtrinsic ISF also includes a sensor manager and a complete hardware abstraction of the underlying MCU. The framework can be used for multiple applications requiring one or more sensing technologies, including augmented reality, gaming, medical and eHealth, toys and sports equipment, tamper detection, remote control and more.