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Technologies Enable Rich Features for Wearables

Written by Jeff Child
Big Challenges for Small Devices Wearable devices continue to rank among today's most dynamic segments of electronics design. Devices spanning across fitness, consumer and medical markets all need highly integrated processing and advanced power management technologies to perform as expected. Topics Covered What's happening in embedded ICs for wearable devices?Bluetooth for wearablesScreenless wearable designsAir quality monitoring in wearablesSolar energy harvester IC for wearablesUWB tools for Apple WatchWearable EKG/ECG monitoring5G-enabled motion tracking in wearablesPosition sensing for wearablesTinay digicams for wearables Tech Discussed Nordic’s nRF52832 Bluetooth 5.2/BLE general-purpose multiprotocol SoCXENSIV MEMS technology from InfineonInfineon's PSoC 6 MCUInfineon's AIROC Wi-Fi and Bluetooth combo device.ZMOD4510 digital OAQ gas sensor from RenesasMaxim Integrated's MAX20361, single-/multi-cell solar harvester ICNXP's Ultra-Wideband (UWB) development toolsTI's AFE4950 analog front end for PPG EKG/ECG sensingST Micro's iNEMO LSM6DST 6-axis IMUU-blox M10 positioning platformAT&S' tiny image sensor The design of wearable devices has moved beyond the basic functionalities of first-generation products. Simple communication, health-monitoring and position tracking are now considered routine. As wearable system developers embark on new designs, there are a treasure trove of new functionalities, performance levels and battery-life improvements being enabled by innovations in chip-level products from microcontroller (MCU) vendors, analog IC companies, IoT SoC providers and others. The next-gen of wearable devices are integrating ultra-wideband (UWB), energy harvesting, air quality monitoring and other new features. At the same time, they must meet the ever-present strict challenges inherent in wearable system designs. These include an extremely low budget for power consumption—and a requirement for rechargeability, because replace
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Technologies Enable Rich Features for Wearables

by Jeff Child time to read: 13 min