GENEVA, Switzerland – Baolab Microsystems SL (Barcelona, Spain), a startup pioneering the creation of MEMS within the metal interconnect layers of CMOS wafers, has announced that it is planning to use its technology to build reconfigurable inertial measurement units (IMUs).
Baolab has already developed a 3-D compass based on the technology and the company has said that it expects to modify the technology to also allow the inclusion of accelerometers and gyroscopes to enable the creation of IMUs. However, the company gave no timetable as to when it would produce mult-axis accelerometers or gyroscopes using its back-end CMOS process.
The combination of tri-axis accelerometers, gyroscopes and magnetometers can provide absolute position and orientation information. Often used in conjunction with satellite data this provides location-awareness in mobile equipment.
"We have designed ways to modify the structure that we developed for the 3D NanoCompass so that it can be used to create gyroscopes and accelerometers as well as magnetometers," said Dave Doyle, CEO of Baolab, in a statement. "As we have the ability to build combinations of these different types of sensors simultaneously on the same chip along with the associated electronics to provide control and intelligence, we will be able to create the product that the industry is wanting - multi-sensor IMUs that can be activated and configured dynamically as required by the application."
Typically different processes are used to create three different die; MEMS, analog signal conditioning and digital signal processing. These are often combined in a multi-chip package to produce a MEMS component with a digital output. By integrating MEMS structures within the metal layers of a CMOS die Baolab claims it can produce a monolithic multi-element MEMS components.
"We will be introducing a series of nanosensor products as we work our way through the roadmap towards our goal of ultra low cost, smart, multi-sensor NanoIMUs," said Doyle.