Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Toshiba processor targets medical wearables market

Steve Rogerson
September 8, 2015
 
Toshiba Electronics has launched an application processor for use in wearable devices such as activity monitoring products, smart watches, bracelets and glasses-type devices.
 
The TZ1041MBG IC is the latest addition to the Japanese company’s App Lite TZ1000 family of IoT devices. Ittargets increasing market demand for IoT devices able to support multiple external sensors.
 
A 24bit high-resolution analogue-to-digital converterwith high-speed switches connects to three input channels. This makes TZ1041MBG-equipped devices capable of meeting the challenge of accurately measuring biomedical signals, such as the pulse and the heart’s electrical signal.
 
To aid designers, Toshiba has developed various software algorithms for the device, such as activity monitoring, PPG (photo-plethysmography) monitoring and ECG (electro-cardiography) monitoring that provide a total system for wearable products.
 
The processor is compliant with Bluetooth core specification v4.1 and provides IoT and wearable devices with a highly versatile communications environment that makes full use of the extended hub features of Bluetooth.
 
The ARM Cortex-M4F with DSP and floating point processing unit can collect and process data from multiple external sensors. The incorporation of a Bluetooth Smart controller and processor enables data to be captured from external sensors that can be connected via various IOs, such as I2C, uart, SPI and ADC. The processor also has 256kbyte SRAM operating memory and 8Mbit NOR flash memory to save sensor data.
 
It can perform as a Bluetooth hub for collecting, processing and storing data from multiple sources as well as transferring the processed data to external devices such as smartphones and tablets. The automatic reconnection function improves the operating efficiency and usability of the user system by using low duty cycle directed advertising. This is a new function in Bluetooth 4.1 that means when a known device comes within the communications area covered by a hub, reconnection is automatic.
 
Like other TZ1000 series devices, it integrates a low power design that allows it to change supply voltage in response to the processor frequency. This makes it suitable for wearable products that require long operating hours between each battery charge.
 
The device measures 6.70 by 8.00 by 1.59mm and is scheduled to enter mass production in early 2016; engineering samples will be available in October 2015.