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Bosch BMI263 IMU Supports I3C But Is Nowhere To Be Found

Published on Jan 16, 2022

Bosch Sensortec released the BMI263, a 6-Axis IMU, their first I3C compatible device, well over a year ago. They are keen to point out support for I3C all over their product page and marketing materials for the device, unlike some who are somewhat silently adding supporting for I3C. However, I have not yet been able to find any distributor from which the device can be purchased. 

The following text is an exerpt from the "Sensor Features" section of their product brief[pdf]:

"BMI261 is Bosch Sensortec's first IMU that is compliant with the latest I3CSM standard as defined by MIPI Alliance. BMI263 features MIPI I3CSM serial interface with two signal lines (Data SDA & Clock SDC), improving upon features, performance and power use of I2C while maintaining backwards compatibility. MIPI I3CSM serial interface reduces wiring complexity, pin count and signal paths, offering high-speed data transfer at very low power levels compared to the traditional I2C or SPI interfaces.

There is an AppNote from the folks at NXP which demonstrates the I3C functionality in their RT500 and RT600 series microcontrollers using the BMI263 as one of the I3C Target devices, and even includes a photo of the device on a breadboard-friendly eval board, shown in the image to the right of this text. Beyond this, it cannot be found anywhere, not even as a non-stocked item from the common electronics components distributors. I'd absolutely love to know the story behind this one.

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