Barometric pressure sensor raises bar for mobile device accuracy and performance

11-04-2022 | Bosch Sensortec | Test & Measurement

Bosch Sensortec has released the BMP581, a barometric pressure sensor that teams low power consumption with extreme accuracy to deliver altitude tracking in wearables, hearables or IoT devices. This capability makes it excellent for fitness tracking, fall detection, indoor localisation and navigation, enabling new use cases that were previously impossible.

"Building on the excellent performance and low power consumption of previous generations of Bosch sensors, our new BMP581 now delivers an entirely new level of accuracy," says Dr Stefan Finkbeiner, CEO at Bosch Sensortec. "It's breathtakingly accurate: it can measure a barometric pressure fluctuation that's equivalent to one-thousandth of the weight of a mosquito (7.6μg)."

This extreme level of accuracy allows the sensor to detect an altitude change of just a few centimetres. It can, therefore, monitor movement in fitness applications down to the level of individual pull-ups or push-ups and provide highly accurate location information for indoor localisation, navigation, and floor detection to provide key data for emergency call requirements.

The sensor can improve flight stability and landing accuracy in drones and aid water level detection in household appliances to avoid flooding.

The sensor offers an excellent relative accuracy of +/-0.06hPa and typical absolute accuracy of +/-0.3hPa. Full accuracy is provided over a wide measurement range from 300hPa to 1100hPa. It has a typical TCO of only +/-0.5Pa/K and low RMS noise of 0.08Pa @ 1000hPa (typical). Long-term drift over 12 months is only +/-0.1hPa.

Compared to BMP390, the previous generation of barometric pressure sensors, it draws 85% less current, noise is 80% lower, and TCO is decreased by 33%.

Typical current consumption of only 1.3μA at 1Hz substantially extends battery life, while the deep standby mode draws only 0.5 μA. The sensor provides an I2C, I3C and SPI (3-wire/4-wire) digital serial interface.

The sensor is offered in a compact 10-pin LGA package shielded by a metal cover, measuring just 2mm x 2mm x 0.75mm3.

By Natasha Shek