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Wearables Could Be More Compelling With Samsung’s Bio-Processor

December 28, 2015 - Written By Diego Macias

Since some components for mobile products are becoming smaller, it was possible to integrate them in smaller devices usually known as wearables, and since they can be in direct contact with the skin, they can also measure some fitness-related data, but even with the right hardware, some of these components don’t do an accurate measurement. Samsung has shown some commitment towards health-oriented measurements as they have included a heart-rate monitor in some of their smartphones and their smartwatches. They also created the S-Health app, making it easy to read all of the data from those devices. Now, the company has created a processor that specializes in health-oriented measurements that go beyond just measuring the heart-rate or step-counting.

The new logic chip is called a Bio-Processor and it is to be used in wearable devices for users who want to keep track of their fitness and health on a daily basis. According to Samsung, there is a growing market of people that want to manage their health by monitoring bio-data and fitness data. Ben K. Hur, Vice President of marketing, System LSI business at Samsung Electronics said, “Samsung’s Bio-Processor, which can process five different biometric signals, is the most versatile health and fitness monitoring chip available on the market today and is expected to open up many new health-based service options for our customers.”

The Bio-Processor integrates the Analog Front Ends (AFE) with the microcontroller unit (MCU), power management integrated circuit (PMIC), digital signal processor (DSP), and eFlash memory, so no external parts are required to measure bio-signals. Plus, the processor is really compact, taking only one-fourth of the space of all these components combined, so it’s great for wearable devices. The processor can now measure body fat, skeletal muscle mass, heart rate, heart rhythm, skin temperature and stress level (probably referring to the effort put into an exercise). So wearables could potentially have more uses combining these measurements. The processor is currently in mass production and Samsung has built some reference platforms such as wristbands, boards and patches to showcase what the processor is capable of. The Bio-Processor is expected to be integrated into wearable devices in the first-half of 2016, so even as it sounds like Samsung is building their own advanced health-oriented device, it is implied that the processor could be used by additional manufacturers.