STMicroelectronics announced a complete hardware solution for advanced sensing applications with 10 degrees of freedom (DoF). A set of three thin MEMS sensors provides accurate and comprehensive information on linear, angular and magnetic motion together with altitude readings, enabling enhanced navigation and smarter user interface in mobile phones and other portable consumer devices.
By using three ST MEMS sensors – a geo-magnetic module, a gyroscope, and a pressure sensor – a consumer device can have a complete indication of its linear acceleration, angular velocity, earth gravity, heading and altitude. With this information, mobile users will be able to identify their direction and precise location in all three dimensions everywhere they go, including in places with no or low GPS signal.
ST has also recently introduced an advanced filtering and predictive software engine dubbed iNEMO, which integrates the outputs from 3-axis accelerometers, gyroscopes and magnetic sensors.
The three-chip 10-DoF sensor solution consists of the following components:
- The LSM303DLHC geo-magnetic module integrates high-resolution, three-axis sensing of linear and magnetic motion in a 3 x 5 x 1mm package, with operating current consumption as low as 110 microamps. The device delivers extremely accurate output across full-scale extended ranges up to ±16g (linear acceleration) and ±8 Gauss (magnetic field), with high stability over time and temperature. It comes with a host of advanced features, including 4D/6D orientation detection and two programmable interrupt signals that enable immediate notification of motion detection, free fall and other conditions.
- The L3G4200D 3-axis digital gyroscope is housed inside an ultra-small 4 x 4 x 1mm package. The device couples a 16-bit data output with a wide set of user-programmable full-scale ranges from ±250dps up to ±2000dps. An embedded FIFO memory block removes the need for continuous communication of between the sensor and the host processor, decreasing power consumption.
- ST's soon-to-be-announced silicon pressure sensor uses an innovative technology to provide high resolution measurements of pressure and altitude in an ultra-compact and thin 3 x 3 x 1mm package. The device has an operating pressure range of 260 – 1260 millibars, corresponding to the atmospheric pressures between -700 and +10000m relative to sea level, and can detect height variations as small as 0.3 m.
Pricing: For the three-chip set is $5.90 for volumes in the range of 100,000 pieces.
Availability: Now for evaluation, with mass production scheduled for the end of Q3 2011.