Definition

sensor hub

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

A sensor hub is a connection point for multiple sensors that uses a multipoint control unit (MCU), coprocessor or digital signal processor (DSP) to compile and process data gathered from those sensors.

Sensor hubs share some of the workload otherwise performed by a computer or other device’s main CPU. This allows the environmental data gathered by sensors to be gathered and processed with demand for compute resources. Offloading in this way enables smaller equipment, more free CPU time, better performance and less power draw.

Sensor hubs are used where multiple sensors are needed to perform a task and demand for resources and the need for efficiency are both high. Modern smartphones commonly use sensor hubs. Sensor hubs are also common on wireless sensor and actuator networks (WSANs), groups of sensors that gather information about their environments and use actuators, such as servos or motors, in order to interact with it, sometimes autonomously and instantly.

One of the main initial development purposes of sensor hubs was to improve WSANs. WSANs originated with the military. Today they have increasing commercialized applications such as monitoring and control of industrial settings, telemedicine and scientific development.

This was last updated in September 2015

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