Development kit speeds wearable projects

Article By : Graham Prophet

The platform comes with a programmable NCP6915 power management IC, which provides five LDOs and one DC-DC to support power requirement.

ON Semiconductor will soon introduce a flexible and scalable development kit for wearables, with hardware, firmware, integrated development environment (IDE) and downloadable SmartApp to support creation of everything from simple fitness trackers to complex smart watches

The Wearable Development Kit (WDK1.0) is a response to ON’s perception of a missing piece of the wearables product creation process, according to the company.

“Despite the growing interest in wearable electronics, to date there is simply not a solution on the market that provides the scope needed by OEMs to help them develop feature rich designs that will attract strong consumer uptake,” said AJ ElJallad, senior manager, corporate strategy and business development at ON Semiconductor. “The WDK1.0 is a multi-faceted design asset that will allow wearable technology projects to be expedited.”

The kit comes with a programmable NCP6915 power management IC, which provides five LDOs and one DC-DC to support power requirement for the smart watch and for additional development requirements. An NCP1855 battery charger IC, plus an LC709203F fuel gauge and a 10W rated SCY1751 wireless charging front-end controller (supporting AirFuel compatible magnetic resonance charging) have also been incorporated. The kit’s sensor capabilities stem from the MEMS-based FIS1100 inertial measurement unit (IMU), with 3‐axis gyroscope and 3‐axis accelerometer operation enabling accurate multi-dimensional motion tracking. There is also an embedded temperature sensor included and an LC898301 driver IC for initiating haptic feedback.

The kit's wireless connectivity is via an nRF52832 multi-protocol system-on-chip (SoC) from Nordic Semiconductor. This has a 32-bit ARM Cortex processor core and a 2.4GHz transceiver—offering support for Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and other wireless technologies. The kit is complemented by a SmartApp which can be downloaded directly from Android PlayStore and Apple AppStore. Using this, various pieces of information can be derived, such as the steps taken, calories burnt, distance covered and activity period, as well as human machine interface aspects such as screen brightness adjustment, clock face control, alarm settings and establishing fitness goals.

An Eclipse-based IDE also accompanies the kit. This presents engineering teams with all the resources they need to rapidly create and subsequently debug code necessary for designs. A highly intuitive Project Wizard further facilitates the development process by giving engineers access to wearable-related project examples.

The WDK1.0 solution also has a 1.44in format, 128pi x 128pi TFT display into which a capacitive touch screen is integrated. A 26‐pin expansion port complements all the other elements in the kit. Through this there is provision for further additions to the system design, such as supplementary microcontroller, signal processing or GPS functionality, the inclusion of more sensors or the specifying of different display. Hardware schematics and Cadence EDA design files are also made available.

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