X-FAB Silicon Foundries is offering ready-to-use design IP blocks for acceleration sensors to its MEMS foundry service offerings. Developed in cooperation with MicroMountains Applications and HSG-IMIT (Institute for Microtechnology and Information Technology of Hahn-Schickard-Gesellschaft), the new IP blocks can be incorporated into customer designs of MEMS capacitive accelerometers covering 2G, 10G and 100G ranges (G = G-force).
The accelerometer IP design blocks further design times and reduce customer learning cycles for new product introduction. Running on X-FAB’s advanced open platform inertial sensor process, the company claims that the fully characterized IP blocks give customers the industry’s fastest development times for volume manufacture of gyroscope and accelerometer designs. The accelerometer IP provides design blocks that can be used as is for fully characterized accelerometers for a wide range of applications, including motion sensing for games and toys and crash-detection for the automotive market.
The IP block development was done in cooperation with MicroMountains Applications and HSG-IMIT, creating IP for three broad application spaces. Development also included finite element analysis simulation of the sensor elements to gather important information about sensitivity, shock-resistance and frequency behavior of the structures. After manufacturing the devices using X-FAB’s inertial sensor process platform, HSG-IMIT performed full characterization of the accelerometers. This was done using different rate-tables for 3-axis-simulation, temperature and vacuum in addition to shakers and temperature-chambers.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.