CEVA launches embedded software for hearables

September 23, 2020 //By Rich Pell
Sensor fusion solution for hearables eases motion sensing challenges
Semiconductor intellectual property (IP) company CEVA has introduced a sensor- and processor-agnostic embedded software solution for hearable devices.

The Hillcrest Labs MotionEngine Hear offers a large portfolio of sensor-based user interface, gesture and activity tracking features, including tap, in-ear detection, step counter, walk/run/still activity classifiers, and head-tracking to enable spatial audio applications. System-on-Chip (SoC) vendors, OEMs, and ODMs, says the company, can utilize MotionEngine Hear to deliver a frictionless user interface, gesture control, activity tracking and spatial audio for a range of smart personal audio devices, including true wireless stereo (TWS) earbuds, audio headsets, hearing aids, and AR glasses.

"The use cases for TWS earbuds and other hearables now extend far beyond listening to music or making phone calls," says Chad Lucien, Vice President and General Manager of the Sensor Fusion Business Unit at CEVA. "Today's consumers expect a more intuitive, context-aware device that incorporates features for fitness, entertainment, augmented reality and gaming. Our MotionEngine Hear solution addresses the major technology and performance challenges associated with adding robust, high-precision motion sensing into these devices, giving our customers the ability to innovate in this lucrative market."

The software is offered for the CEVA-BX1 and CEVA-BX2 DSPs, Arm Cortex-M series, and RISC-V cores that are incorporated in a broad range of Bluetooth SoCs and MCUs targeted for hearable devices. MotionEngine Hear supports a broad range of commercial accelerometers, gyroscopes, and proximity sensors from the leading sensor suppliers including STMicroelectronics, Bosch-Sensortec, TDK InvenSense, and others.

MotionEngine Hear is offered in two versions:

  • MotionEngine Hear Core
    • Enables context awareness with activity classification, including walking, running and still
    • Offers improved UI control with tap and double tap
    • Controls playback and saves power with accelerometer-only in-ear detection
    • Tracks fitness activity with step counter, activity detection, and distance and calorie estimates
    • Sensor requirement: accelerometer-only
  • MotionEngine Hear Premium – includes all the features of Core version, in addition to:
    • Essential support for spatial audio with highly accurate 3D head-tracking
    • Advanced in-ear detection using accelerometer and/or proximity detection
    • Sensor requirement: accelerometer, gyroscope and proximity sensor

MotionEngine Hear


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