MEMS group goes open-source on fusion algorithms

November 10, 2014 // By Peter Clarke
The MEMS Industry Group has announced the formation of an open-source algorithm cooperative that is intended to encourage collaboration in the creation of software across the MEMS and sensor supply chain.

The founding member of the Accelerated Innovation Community (AIC) is Freescale Semiconductor Inc., and Freescale has been joined by Analog Devices, Berkeley Sensor and Actuator Center (BSAC), Carnegie Mellon University, Kionix, NIST and PNI Sensor Corp.

AIC's open-source software is available for both Android and Windows.

"When companies are developing products that use MEMS/sensors, they often have to develop algorithms from scratch. This inhibits innovation by compelling designers to reinvent the wheel on common algorithms every time they want to add or change functionality in their product," said Karen Lightman, executive director of the MEMS Industry Group, in a statement. "Giving them access to an open-source library of introductory algorithms fundamentally changes the development paradigm. Product designers can use field-proven, open-source algorithms supplied by MIG member companies to jumpstart their development process, enabling them to gain all the benefits of MEMS/sensors that much faster."

Freescale has helped create the MIG Open Source Sensor Fusion site which incudes open-source algorithms for 3-, 6- and 9-axis sensor fusion. PNI Sensor plans to contribute three algorithms: quaternion to heading pitch and roll; heart rate monitoring using PPG sensor; and step counting, MIG said.

"We also fully expect other MIG member companies to add further algorithms to AIC over the next 30 to 60 days, providing a rich baseline algorithm capability to assist developers with sensor fusion solutions," said Steve Whalley, chief strategy officer at MIG and a former director of sensors at Intel.

In addition to contributing its sensor fusion software, Freescale is making available its sensor fusion development kit and additional development technology based on its Freedom development platforms for Freescale Sensors and Kinetis MCUs with Bluetooth. The development kit includes optional software development support from Freescale, and works with AIC open-source sensor fusion software.

"Sensor fusion is a fundamental building block for today’s secure embedded processing solutions. Although it has been in the market for several years, sensor fusion has so