Mobile Sensor Hubs Now Seen as the 'Future of Sensing'

Mobile Sensor Hubs Now Seen as the 'Future of Sensing'According to new analysis from IHS Technology, sensor hubs that offload tasks from power-hungry application processors and let mobile devices like smartphones and tablets run longer on a single battery charge are now “reaping gargantuan gains thanks to the global microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) market, with shipment growth this year alone in triple-digit territory.”

IHS projects that worldwide shipments of sensor hubs in 2014 will reach a projected 658.4 million units, up 154 percent from 259.6 million units last year. The market has been on a tear since 2011, when shipments first started from a low initial base. The 2012 growth rate, for instance, exceeded 2,000 percent.

From then until 2017, the market is pegged to increase 1,300 percent to shipments of 1.3 billion units.

“A sensor hub is a low-power processor that can be used to perform calculations on data from sensors, the hub thereby saving power on a device by off-loading such tasks from the power-intensive application processor,” explains Marwan Boustany, senior analyst for MEMS and sensors at IHS. “The use of sensor hubs is increasingly crucial because of the push for ‘always on’ sensors used for activity monitoring, voice-command operation and contextual awareness.”