in a project we access a BME680 using the BSEC library 22.214.171.124 in continuous power mode (CONT, 1Hz sample rate), with the gas sensor disabled -- just measuring temp., humidity, and pressure, utilizing the generic_33v_3s_4d configuration. The update rate of 1 Hz is a project requirement that prevents us from using LP mode.
In the BME680 datasheet, on page 24, it is stated that CONT mode shall be used only short-term, for testing purposes only; a strong increased current consumption is mentioned -- 12mA as compared to 0,9mA in LP mode.
Because in our application the gas measuring component is not used, the CONT mode, in comparison to LP mode, in our case doesn't have a noticable effect on the current consumption. Measuring temp., humidity, and pressure appears to work fine.
CONT mode appears to be mentioned only in the BME680's datasheet, though. There is no BSEC_SAMPLE_RATE_CONT defined in bsec_datatypes.h, and I didn't find a reference to that mode in the BSEC integration guide. It works by using the undocumented value 1.0f as sample rate value. This makes me wonder -- can I assume that this feature will still be available in future versions of the BSEC library, or -- since currently it is not part of the BSEC interface description -- that it possibly will be left out?
The high current consumption described indeed refers to the hot plate for gas sensor measurements. In case IAQ is not required, the BME680 can be used at any supported rate and the BSEC library is completely optional. The BME680 sensor API can compute temperature, pressure and humidity values.