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Wearable fitness and medical devices are becoming an integral part of personal fitness programs and health care delivery. These devices measure a broad range of vital signs, deliver medication, store/transmit data and sync with smartphones, tablets, PCs and home-health hubs. Wearable devices can include many combinations of sensors, actuators, storage and encryption depending on the needs of the user or patient.

The constant struggle to achieve low-power, low-cost and high-performance designs makes the job of the medical or fitness device designer difficult. Our products address this challenge with extreme low-power capability, effortless connectivity, intelligent analog integration, higher processing power with reduced code size, solid security/authentication capability and innovative touch and input-sensing solutions. Our broad portfolio of products and solutions gives designers what they need to create the next generation of wearable devices, including activity trackers, ambulatory ECG recorders, continuous glucose monitors and others that haven’t even been thought about yet.

System Diagram

We Have What Wearable Device Designers Need

Low Power: Take it to the Extreme for Wearable Designs

Low power is a key factor in the design of wearable devices. Microcontollers (MCUs) with low-run currents, multiple low-power sleep modes, flexible wake-up sources and intelligent power management are critical to the success of these designs. Reduced product power consumption enables wearable monitors to use smaller batteries, run longer between re-charging and offer an overall smaller product footprint. Our portfolio of eXtreme Low-Power (XLP) technology PIC® MCUs feature sleep currents as low as 9 nA and run currents down to 30 μA/MHz.

Touch and Input Sensing: Limitless Possibilities

Imagine a wristband that can:

  • Detect a wave of your hand or even more complex gestures and send commands to your phone, computer or car based on these gestures
  • Change the content of your wearable screen with a tap, flick or a wave
  • Adjust the timer for your workout or view and organize your measured healthcare data with simple, intuitive gestures

Our innovative and patented touch- and input-sensing technologies provide this and much more. Wearable devices depend on intelligent power management to maximize battery life while maintaining a stylish, modern look for functionality. Our 1D, 2D and 3D electronics solutions utilize industry-leading low-power technology, enabling optimal performance for a wide variety of use cases.

Digital Security and Authentication: Stop the Threat

In a connected world, a wearable device must be protected from the threat of data interception or unauthorized control. We can simplify and accelerate the development of secure healthcare devices with our high-performance, cost-effective security and authentication products, software libraries, development tools, as well as PIC® MCUs with an integrated hardware crypto engine.

Wireless Connectivity: Easy, Low-Power, Design Done!

Wireless connectivity allows wearable devices to interface with smartphones, tablets, PCs and other intelligent healthcare devices but designing wireless connectivity into wearable devices can be a formidable challenge. Radio Frequency (RF) circuit design, antenna design and government regulatory approvals are common sources of major time and cost overruns. Agency-certified, Bluetooth®, Bluetooth Low Energy and Wi-Fi® modules offer significant time and cost savings in RF design and regulatory approval. Our full range of these and other wireless modules gives you the ability to quickly develop wireless solutions that connect to smartphones, tablets, PCs and ultimately to the cloud.

Core Independent Peripherals: A Paradigm Shift in MCU Performance

New medical and fitness designs must support an increase in functional integration, as well as offer a reduction in overall power consumption, cost, and physical footprint. These cost-sensitive embedded designs require a move away from the traditional path of needing more and more MIPS, bytes and megahertz. They need a paradigm shift into the era of function enablement.

We are leading the way in adding functionality and flexibility to embedded designs. Our PIC® and AVR® microcontrollers (MCUs) with Core Independent Peripherals incorporate on-chip peripherals that can operate without supervision from the Central Processing Unit (CPU) and are able to communicate directly with other peripherals to create flexible feedback loops. These peripherals deliver blocks of function-specific hardware intelligence that require little to no code, consume very little power and require much less RAM and Flash to implement a given function within the MCU. Our integrated solutions enable flexible, power-efficient designs with the capability to perform the same tasks as much larger and more expensive MCUs without the added cost.

MCUs with Analog Integration: Reduce Design Time, Reduce Cost, Increase Analog Capability

Analog design for medical and fitness devices tends to be difficult and can consume precious development time. Our intelligent PIC, AVR and SAM MCUs integrate analog functions such as high-performance Analog-to-Digital Converters (ADCs), Digital-to-Analog Converters (DACs), op amps, analog switch matrixes and voltage references to provide simple-to-use interfaces that ease analog design.

Explore Our Demos

Connected, Secure and Wearable Electrocardiogram (ECG) Demo Design Files

Check out the design files for a connected, secure and wearable electrocardiogram (ECG) demo.

Single-Chip Wearable Heart Rate Monitor Demo Design Files

Check out the design files for a single-chip wearable heart rate monitor demo.

ULP Connected Wearable Activity Monitor Demo Design Files

Check out the design files for a ULP connected wearable activity monitor demo.

Cloud-Connected Pulse Oximeter Demo Design Files

Check out the design files for a Cloud-connected pulse oximeter demo.

Pedometer/Low-Cost Activity Monitor Demo Design Files

Check out the design files for a pedometer/low-cost activity monitor demo.



Examples – Microcontrollers with:
Integrated op amps, ADCs, LCD, touch channels, Core Independent Peripherals and eXtreme Low Power (XLP)/picoPower® technology

Signal Conditioning and Power Management

Examples – Op amps, instrumentation amplifiers, battery management, switching regulators and Low-Dropout (LDO) regulators


Examples – Bluetooth®, Bluetooth Low Energy and Wi-Fi®

Other Products

Examples – Memory, USB, Ethernet, Data and Video Transceivers

Application Notes

Title Download
ULP Connected Wearable Activity Monitor User Guide Download
AN951 - Amplifying High-Impedance Sensors - Photodiode Example Download
AN1906 - Bluetooth Low Energy Digital Pedometer Demo Design Download
AN1661 - Sensor Calibration on SSC7102 Bosch Sensor Fusion Solution for Windows 8 Download
AN1525 - Pulse Oximeter Design Using Microchip's Analog Devices and dsPIC Digital Signal Controllers (DSCs) Download
AN1494 - Using MCP6491 Op Amps for Photodetection Applications Download
AN1260 - Li-Ion/Li-Poly Battery Charge and System Load Sharing Management Design Guide With MCP73871 Download
AN1416 - Low-Power Design Guide Download
TB1098 - Low-Power Techniques for LCD Applications Download
AT14973: Wearable Demo Reference Design Download
AN990 - Analog Sensor Conditioning Circuits - An Overview Download

Medical Video Channel

Wearable Activity Monitor