The SoC combines onboard digital signal processing, high fidelity operation, and multiday monitoring capability with a single battery into a single chip. (Credit: Imec)

A new sensor hub integrated as a system-on-chip (SoC) is designed for a broad range of wearable health devices and applications. The SoC combines an unprecedented number of biomedical analog interfaces into a single chip: onboard digital signal processing, high-fidelity operation, and multiday monitoring capability with a single battery. The SoC sensor hub underscores patient-centric capabilities and can be integrated in numerous wearable fitness and healthcare applications such as patch monitors, chest band heart rate monitors, respiration, or hydration monitors, as well as devices for blood-pressure calculation.

The biomedical analog interfaces include three ECG channels, photo-plethysmography (PPG), galvanic skin response (GSR), and two multifrequency bioimpedance (BIO-Z) channels to support new applications such as impedance-tomography, body fluid analysis, stroke volume measurements, and three reconfigurable channels.

The SoC moves beyond current solutions and combines advanced biomedical readouts, supported by an ARM Cortex M0+ controller and accelerators for sample-rate conversion, matrix processing, data compaction, and power management circuitry (PMIC). The PMIC operates from a battery source (2.9–4.5 V) and generates the required voltages for the readout IC. It supports dynamic voltage scaling optimized for, but not limited to, low-power and high-performance applications and can be fully customized for specific healthcare applications.