MediaTek hoping to shake up wearables market with new MT2511 chip

mediatek_wearables_chips

As much as major manufacturers push the boundaries of chip design for smartphones, we are starting to see the same type of movement in the field of chips for wearable devices. At MWC 2016 this week, MediaTek has announced their latest entry that they hope wearable manufacturers will adopt in their devices. The MT2511 is described as the company’s “first bio-sensing analog front-end (AFE) chip designed for health and fitness devices.” To help set it apart, MediaTek says they included the ability to collect bio signal information via electric signals in the body via electrocardiography (ECG) to join the more traditional photoplethysmography (PPG) method. PPG uses the green LED lights to detect blood flow just under the skin that you are probably familiar with from many devices currently on the market.

MediaTek Corporate Vice President JC Hsu says the MT2511 “is ideal for a variety of devices, including fitness trackers, active lifestyle smart watches and sports bands” thanks to the combination of “support for ECG and PPG and limited power needs.”

MediaTek says the accurate capture of pulse data means the chip can be used in devices used to measure a variety of data including electromyography (EMG), electroencephalography (EEG), pulse oximetry (SpO2), and blood pressure applications.

MediaTek will be showing the MT2511 at MWC 2016 along with their hardware development kit that combines this chip with the MT2523. With this combination, manufacturers can produce wearables that incorporate a wide range of features including GPS, dual-mode Bluetooth LE, high-resolution screens and the variety of bio sensing applications.

MediaTek is planning to start mass production in the next few months during the first half of 2016. Stick with TalkAndroid for more coverage from MWC 2016.

SPAIN, Barcelona – February 22, 2016  – As the global demand for mobile health devices continues to grow, MediaTek today announced the MT2511, MediaTek’s first bio-sensing analog front-end (AFE) chip designed for health and fitness devices. The MT2511 enables bio signal acquisition through electrocardiography (ECG) and photoplethysmography (PPG) simultaneously.  

MT2511 is extremely power efficient, providing a lower active mode power consumption of less than 0.6mA while capturing PPG. In addition, MT2511 is equipped with MediaTek’s exclusive built-in heart beat interval technology and 4KB SRAM to optimize overall system power consumption for sleep heart rate monitoring. Finally, MT2511 also integrates LED boost driver circuit for saving layout space.

“The mobile health market is one of the fastest growing technology sectors. We can only begin to imagine how health-related wearables will improve both medical care and everyday wellness all around the world,” said JC Hsu, MediaTek’s Corporate Vice President and General Manager of the IoT business unit. “With support for ECG and PPG and limited power needs, the fully integrated MT2511 is ideal for a variety of devices, including fitness trackers, active lifestyle smart watches and sports bands.”

With its support for a greater than 100db dynamic range and high sample rate from 64 to 4KHz, the MT2511 eliminates interference and motion artifacts when collecting the heart’s electric signals. Because the MT2511 gathers accurate pulse data, it enables a variety of applications including electromyography (EMG), electroencephalography (EEG), pulse oximetry (SpO2) and blood pressure.

The flexible design of the MT2511 means it works seamlessly with MediaTek’s existing IoT and wearables platforms, including the MT2502, MT2523, and MT2601 for Android Wear, allowing device manufacturers to cater to a variety of needs. Advantages of the design range from simple to rich applications, with or without touch screens, or paired with a SoC or microcontroller unit (MCU).  

The MediaTek MT2511 is expected to begin mass production in the first half of 2016. At Mobile World Congress 2016, MediaTek will show the MT2511 and the hardware development kit that combines it with MediaTek’s MT2523 platform. Together, this will demonstrate a complete system-in-package (SiP) for wearables with GPS, dual-mode Bluetooth LE, support for high-resolution screens and a highly-efficient Cortex M4 CPU.

Highlighted specifications: 

  • ECG+PPG for easy data synchronization (Internal PLL)
  • Active power
    • < 0.6mA for PPG (sample rate 125Hz .w/o LED)
    • < 0.6mA for ECG
    • < 1.25mA for PPG+ECG
  • Heart beat interval + Built-in 4KB SRAM
  • Integrated LED boost driver circuit
  • High accuracy: Greater than 100dB dynamic range
  • SPI/I2C interface support for connectivity
  • 3mm×3.4mm, 56-ball, 0.4mm pitch, WLCSP package

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About MediaTek

Since 1997, MediaTek has been a pioneering fabless semiconductor company and a market leader in cutting-edge systems-on-chip (SoC) for mobile devices, wireless networking, HDTV, DVD and Blu-ray. Our tightly-integrated, innovative chip designs help manufacturers optimize supply chains, reduce the development time of new products, and extend a competitive edge in crowded markets. Through MediaTek Labs, the company is also building a developer hub that will support device creation, application development, and services for the Internet of Things era. By building technologies that help connect individuals to the world around them, MediaTek is enabling people to expand their horizons and more easily achieve their goals. We believe anyone can achieve something amazing. And we believe they can do it every single day. We call this idea Everyday Genius and it drives everything we do. Visit mediatek.com for more information.


About the Author: Jeff Causey

Raised in North Carolina, Jeff Causey is a licensed CPA in North Carolina. Jeff's past Android devices include an HTC EVO, a Samsung Note II, an LG G3, and a Motorola Moto X Pure Edition along with a Samsung Galaxy Tablet 10.1. He currently uses a Samsung Galaxy S8 and (very rarely) a Nexus 7 (2013). He is also using a Verizon-branded Motorola Moto Z Play Droid supplied by his job. Jeff used to have a pair of Google Glass and a Moto 360 Sport in his stable of gadgets. Unfortunately, his kids have all drunk the Apple Kool-Aid and have i-devices. Life at home often includes demonstrations of the superiority of his Android based devices. In his free time, Jeff is active an active runner usually training for his next marathon, owns a MINI Cooper, and plays Dungeons & Dragons. Jeff has three mostly grown kids and a golden retriever.