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small-product-photoCarrying top-of-the-line rotational 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. 

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  “always-on” requirements for motion sensors in mobile and wearable devices. 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. SENtral consumes <1% of the power of the same algorithms running on a general purpose microprocessor. 

SENtral includes algorithms for context and location awareness

SENtral is now available with a variety of algorithms for context- and location-awareness, including:

  • Mobile Sensor Fusion
    • Quaternion outputs from: 9-axis, 6-axis IMU, 6-axis e-compass and soft gyro
    • Background auto-calibration and magnetic anomaly rejection
  • Activity Monitoring
    • Type of step, step count and step detect
    • Activity state and level
    • Tilting
  • Device Orientation and Motion
    • How the device is held or carried: ear, handheld-in-front, handheld-at-side, pocket, + trainability
    • Auto-detection of wrist-worn vs. not wrist-worn
  • Pedestrian Dead-Reckoning (available in 2015)
    • Directional accuracy while moving
    • Scaled step count
    • Accelerometer-based Direction of Travel (DOT)
    • Center of gravity
    • Changes in elevation

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. And it makes it easy to integrate and optimize up to 6 sensors ICs, as SENtral has GPIO pins for communication with additional sensors, such as heart rate or environmental sensors. 

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.

SENtral-K: To learn more about our new SENtral-K supporting Android 4.4 KitKat, please visit the SENtral-K Product Page.

PNI Sensor corporation Sentral Schematic

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
  • 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.