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Diminutive processor handles four sensor inputs

Synaptics’ FlexSense low-power processor combines up to four sensor inputs in a form factor that is up to 80% smaller than existing devices. Using proprietary algorithms, FlexSense integrates a mix of capacitive, inductive, Hall effect, and ambient sensing into a single processor to bring immersive IoT experiences to customers.

FlexSense incorporates a central microcontroller that connects to two low-power, fast analog front-end (AFE) engines. These AFE engines sense and digitize data from the capacitive and inductive elements on the touch surfaces of an IoT product. Hall effect sensors are implemented via metal plates on the device that detect magnetic fields, while an on-chip temperature sensor measures ambient temperature.

Capacitive sensing is typically used to detect finer grain touch, proximity, and actions such as fingers sliding on a surface. Inductive sensing can distinguish coarse grain touch, up to 256 levels of force, and actions like knob rotation. The Hall effect sensor detects magnetic fields, such as those from a magnet embedded in a docking station.

FlexSense is a flexible and reliable sensor processor that is just 2.62 mm2. It can replace up to four ICs that have a combined size of 16.04 mm2 to achieve an 80% decrease in footprint. The processor typically consumes 240 µW in-ear for a TWS application and 10 µW in a dock or sleep mode.

FlexSense sensor fusion processors are sampling now. An evaluation kit is available on request.

FlexSense product page


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