A collaboration between IMEC of Belgium and Holst Centre in The Netherlands, two research institutions with focus on nanoelectronics and related fields, unveiled a new integrated system-on-a-chip that can accept and process data coming from a variety of body monitoring devices. For example, it can natively accept a three channel analog ECG signal, convert it into digital, and perform signal processing all within the single chip. This lets device designers implement pretty powerful capabilities while keeping their products compact.
The full list of channels the chip can process is three ECG channels, photo-plethysmography (PPG), galvanic skin response (GSR), two multi-frequency bio-impedance (BIO-Z) channels for newly applied technologies such as impedance-tomography, body fluid analysis, and stroke volume measurements. There’s also three reconfigurable channels.
Some details from the announcement:
While high performance multi-modal analog readouts have been demonstrated, they lack on-board signal processing capabilities, or are too large in size. Alternatively, existing reconfigurable readouts are smaller, but have limited performance. Imec’s and Holst Centre’s 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- 4.5V) 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.