PORTLAND, Ore.Freescale Semiconductor Monday (June 22) claimed its billionth sensor shipped at the IEEE's Transducers 2009 conference in Denver.
Freescale's micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMs) unit, which was originally part of Motorola, has a 30-year history in sensors and is currently No. 1 in automotive sensors, according to market research firm iSuppli Corp.
To integrate its current line of MEMs chips and capacitive proximity sensors, Freescale (Austin, Texas) announced a Sensor Toolbox download that offers a common development software environment for designing with its sensors.
"A billion sensors and countingits been a good ride so far and its getting even better," said Jim Grothe, MEMS automotive marketing manager. "The automotive market is still strong, but other sensor uses are growing even faster in new markets for consumer, industrial and medical products."
Freescale's acceleration, pressure and proximity sensors can all now be evaluated using its Sensor Toolbox download. Designers can try out each Freescale sensor with Sensor Toolbox using a common graphical user interface (GUI) that includes demonstration, evaluation and tutorial modes. Each sensor type is demonstrated from the GUI with the Sensor Toolbox handling all the software issues for its Freeacale's line of development, interface and communications boards.
"Our Sensor Toolbox provides a customizable selection of sensor tools which use a unified architecture that is compatible with the same hardware and software," said Bryce Osoinach, systems and applications engineer at Freescale.
Each sensor has been mounted on a USB-enabled evaluation board that has been set-up to illustrate the various functions each sensor can perform. For instance, the accelerometer demonstration illustrates the functions of sensing orientation, shake, taps, freefall, motion, tilt, positioning, shock and vibration. Likewise, the MEMS pressure sensor demonstrates altimetry (elevation) and water-level monitoring, while the proximity sensors demo illustrates touch pad types and switch replacement techniques.