BMI160: Overview,parameter,Main uses,Features,application fields,working principle and alternative models


BMI160 Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) Overview:


The BMI160 is a 6-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) sensor designed by Bosch Sensortec. It integrates a 3-axis accelerometer and a 3-axis gyroscope in a compact package, offering accurate motion sensing capabilities.



  • Sensitivity: Resolution for accelerometer and gyroscope measurements.
  • Output Data Rate: Rate at which sensor data is provided.
  • Communication Interface: Protocol for interfacing with external microcontrollers.
  • Power Consumption: Current consumption in various operating modes.
  • Package Type: Physical dimensions and mounting specifications.
  • DataSheet

    BMI160 PDF

Main Uses:

  • Motion Sensing: Detecting acceleration, tilt, and angular velocity.
  • Orientation Tracking: Monitoring device orientation changes in 3D space.
  • Activity Monitoring: Tracking physical activity levels for fitness applications.
  • Gesture Recognition: Recognizing specific gestures or movements.


  • 6-Axis Integration: Combines accelerometer and gyroscope for comprehensive motion tracking.
  • Low Power Consumption: Efficient for battery-powered devices.
  • Digital Motion Processing: On-chip algorithms for motion data fusion.
  • Motion Triggering: Detects and responds to specific motion events.
  • Temperature Sensor: Onboard temperature measurement capabilities.

Application Fields:

  • Consumer Electronics: In smartphones, smartwatches, and fitness trackers.
  • Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR): Tracking head movements and gestures.
  • IoT Devices: Enabling motion detection and context awareness in connected devices.
  • Automotive: In vehicle navigation systems, stability control, and safety features.

Working Principle:

  • Accelerometer: Measures acceleration along three axes, detecting changes in velocity and orientation.
  • Gyroscope: Measures angular rate of rotation around three axes, providing orientation changes.
  • Sensor Fusion: Combines data from the accelerometer and gyroscope to enhance motion tracking accuracy.
  • Embedded Processing: Includes algorithms for sensor data fusion and interpretation.

Alternative Models:

  • LSM6DSOXTR: STMicroelectronics' 6-axis IMU sensor for motion sensing applications.
  • MPU-6050: InvenSense's popular 6-axis motion tracking sensor with accelerometer and gyroscope.
  • ADXL345 + ITG-3200: Combined modules offering similar 6-axis IMU functionality.

The BMI160 IMU sensor from Bosch Sensortec is a reliable solution for motion sensing applications, offering precise measurement capabilities for acceleration and orientation changes. It finds applications in various industries such as consumer electronics, IoT devices, automotive systems, and AR/VR technologies. When selecting a sensor for your specific needs, consider factors like accuracy, power consumption, communication interfaces, and integration capabilities. Review datasheets and technical specifications to ensure compatibility with your application requirements.