SENtral

Sentral is a sensor fusion chip that enables smart continuous calibration and magnetic anomaly rejection, allowing for true accuracy in contextual awareness and indoor navigation

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A custom IC that performs sensor fusion using less than 1% of the power a general purpose microprocessor uses.

small-product-photoCarrying top-of-the-line sensor fusion algorithms on an extremely low-power integrated circuit, SENtral dramatically reduces power usage by offloading sensor management and fusion work from less efficient host CPUs onto an ultra low-power IC tailor-made for motion processing. And it reduces the need for complex algorithm development and calibration. The result is the first ultra low-power integrated circuit to make 9-axis motion sensing extremely accurate in real world conditions — while dramatically reducing processing power use of the host CPU.

Why it is needed

Increasing use of gyroscopes, accelerometers and magnetic sensors is enabling greater functionality across a wide spectrum of mobile devices and applications. Yet effective fusion of these sensors often drains valuable host CPU power needed for other functions, especially with the new “always-on” requirements for motion sensors in mobile devices.

Why adding sensors is hard

For many OEMs, working out the subtleties of sensor integration, signal enhancement, calibration, magnetic interference, sensor drift and power consumption has proven to be time consuming, difficult and expensive work. Additionally, the job of managing and “fusing” data from these multiple sensors is left to the host CPU, eating up valuable power and space, even if the algorithms prove to work.

SENtral makes it work

By managing all three sensors, SENtral outputs heading and accurate absolute and relative motion tracking data — all with more accuracy and reliability than you've ever experienced. Using “constant calibration” technology, it polls the individual sensors, integrating, fusing and filtering their data with state-of-the art patented Kalman filter algorithms. Created and designed by sensor fusion experts with more than 20 years of real world experience, SENtral's output is fast, accurate and very reliable.

SENtral is a power-savior

Used in small form factor devices, it makes your sensors work better and frees up valuable CPU power in mobile and wearable devices, especially with “always-on” motion sensors. The SENtral IC is ultra low power, consuming 1% of the power of standard CPUs performing the task of sensor fusion. Plus it's tiny.

PNI Sensor corporation Sentral Schematic

Works with the sensors you use

The SENtral Motion Coprocessor makes it practical because it supports a wide variety of gyroscopes, accelerometers and magnetic sensors from multiple vendors. It doesn't require you to change out to new sensors.

SENtral + AKM Magnetometer: To see how we've configured SENtral with AKM's magnetic sensors, please click here or download the data sheet for details and schematics.

SENtral M&M Modules: To learn more about our new motion tracking and measurement platform integrating SENtral with other third-party motion sensors in a low-power system-on-board, please visit the SENtral M&M product page. 

Made with real world expertise

SENtral's fusion technology is custom engineered by PNI Sensor Corporation, a leading expert in high end sensor fusion, and is built on a tailor-made ultra low-power IC from EM Microelectronic, the proven experts in producing ultra-low power microelectronic components.

Operating Specifications:

Accuracy 2° RMS
Data Update Rate 400 Hz max.
Latency < 1 video frame
Outputs
  • Heading, Pitch and Roll
  • Rotation Matrix
  • Quaternions
  • Sensor Data
Supply Voltage (VDD) 1.6 – 3.3 VDC
Current Consumption Peak 800 µA
Typical < 100 µA at 7 Hz Kalman update rate
Standby 5 µA
I2C Interface Frequency 100 – 3400 KHz
Dimensions 1.6 × 1.6 × 0.5 mm
Operating Temperature −40 – 85 °C

Contact a PNI sales office to find out how your next product can benefit from Sentral technology.