Stefan Finkbeiner, chief executive officer and general manager of Bosch Sensortec, has let the cat out of the bag on a few upcoming trends in the supplier of micro-electro-mechanical systems at the recent MEMS Executive Congress in Scotsdale, Arizona.

"We already have smart sensor hubs, but now plan to integrated different sensors into them plus put more intelligence in the package," said Finkbeiner.

Finkbeiner revealed that Bosch Sensortec—the division of Bosch that makes consumer-grade MEM—will be integrating complete 9-axis inertial sensor complements along with more powerful ARM-based microcontroller, while aiming for the same power envelope of the hub alone.

Bosch MEMS Automotive 01 (cr) Figure 1: Tritely called the 'feel good' MEMS for automotive engine control units (ECUs) result in a more comfortable cabin experience for drivers and passengers, according to Bosch. (Source: Bosch)

The company also plans to add environmental sensors, which include volatile-organic-compounds (VOCs more generally called "pollution") barometric pressure, humidity and temperature all in a 2.5-millimetre package. Already i-Blades has a smartphone case that includes Bosch's environmental that is popular in regions (China) where are quality is poor (and variable). The i-Blades also won the highly competitive MEMS & Sensors Technology Showcase, allowing it to gain entrance into the MEMS Hall of Fame.

Now Bosch's aims it to make its environmental sensor so cheap and small that their inclusion in smartphones at the factory will be a no-brainer, according to Finkbeiner. Their inclusion in air purifiers and thermostats and other consumer devices was also stated as a goal of setting the price/performance ratio lower.

Bosch MEMS Automotive 02 (cr) Figure 2: A new higher precision pressure sensor immersed in the oil of the transmission results is smoother, faster more 'comfortable' shifting in automatic transmissions, says Bosch. (Source: Bosch)

Finkbeiner also revealed new cooperative efforts with its premier MEMS division for automotive applications, by sharing resources for integrated navigation modules that are small and cheap as consumer-grade devices from others, but perform to the higher standards set for automotive MEMS.

For instance, the Bosch automotive division recently announced the new super-high precision SMP580 barometric pressure sensor that it claims significantly reduces fuel consumption and emissions for the same price. The automotive division also introduced a new SMP580 barometric pressure sensor for immersion in the oil of automatic transmission, which it claims results in smoother shifting, fast sensing (response time less than 1ms) and a smaller more robots package sealed for the lifetime of the car.