New 6 axis Inertial Measurement Unit

Louise Smyth

Bosch Sensortec has launched the BMI085, a 6 axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU). The BMI085 integrates a 3 axis, 16 bit MEMS acceleration sensor and a 3-axis, 16-bit MEMS gyroscope in a single package.

This powerful IMU is ideally suited for demanding virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) applications as well as other applications, such as navigation,  motion tracking and high-end gaming. The compact MEMS sensor package is filled with features, combining an extremely low drift gyroscope with a low noise accelerometer to significantly reduce the unpleasant motion sickness effect. Its ultra-precise instantaneous detection of head movements reduces time lag to an almost imperceptible minimum. Thus, electronic device manufacturers are able to create a more authentic and immersive VR and AR experience that enables headset users to engage their virtual environments for longer periods without requiring frequent breaks.
 
"High performance AR/VR applications demand extremely sensitive, precise, robust and responsive motion sensors," says Stefan Finkbeiner, CEO at Bosch Sensortec. "With the BMI085, the user can enjoy a much more realistic and pleasant experience in the exciting worlds of virtual and augmented reality, without the negative physical effects."
 
The exceptionally low latency of the new BMI085 enables headset manufacturers to eliminate image drifts and deliver a true real-life experience. The IMU delivers a low motion-to-photon latency of less than 3 ms and achieves near perfect stability in environments with high temperature fluctuations as often encountered in continuous HMD (head-mounted display) or AR headset scenarios. This further improves accuracy, which is critical in today's lightning fast high-definition AR/VR applications.
 
The sensor’s accelerometer has rock-solid temperature stability, delivering an impressive low temperature coefficient offset (TCO) of typically less than 0.2 mg/K and temperature coefficient sensitivity (TCS) of only 0.002 %/K. Bias instability of the gyroscope is typically below 2°/h.
 
The gyroscope features a robust closed-loop analog-to-digital conversion mechanism, which ensures low drift characteristics even in high-fluctuation temperature environments. The accelerometer achieves a noise density of under 120 μg/√Hz and the IMU’s accuracy is further boosted by data synchronisation of the accelerometer and gyroscope.
 
The BMI085 is housed in a compact 3.0 x 4.5 x 0.95 mm³ package and is pin-to-pin compatible with Bosch’s BMI055 IMU, making design migration to the new BMI085 smooth and effortless. 

It will be available for distributors by the end of May.