STMicroelectronics has announced a high performance, 3-axis analog gyroscope, the L3G3250A, that measures 3.5x3x1 mm, with a footprint of 10.5 mm3, nearly 40% smaller than current generation. The new gyroscope is designed to meet the demand for smaller footprints in next-generation applications such as gaming and virtual reality input devices, motion control for MMI (man-machine interfaces), GPS navigation systems, and appliances and robotics.
Because of its resonant frequency beyond the audio bandwidth, the L3G3250A is immune to audio noise from speakers mounted close to the sensor, for example, and mechanical vibrations coupled through the printed circuit board, which enables the device to operate with greater accuracy and reliability. It has a single sensing structure for motion measurement along all three orthogonal axes, which further increases sensing accuracy and reliability and delivers a high level of output stability over time and temperature. The combination of high sensing resolution with immunity to audio noise and vibrations makes motion-sensing user interfaces more realistic in mobile phones, tablets, game consoles, and other smart consumer devices.
The L3G3250A offers two user-selectable full scales – 625 or 2500 dps (degrees per second) – with sensitivities of 2mV/dps and 0.5mV/dps, respectively. The high range allows the device to detect and measure very fast gestures and movements. Other features include an embedded self-test function, a wide supply voltage range (2.4 V to 3.6 V), embedded power-down and sleep modes to optimize power management in battery-operated devices, an embedded low pass filter and a high pass filter reset function, and high shock survivability.
The device operates over an extended temperature range (-40°C to 85°C) and is available in a 3.5x3x1 mm3 LGA-16 ECOPACK RoHS and Green-compliant package. Engineering samples are available now and volume production is scheduled for Q4 2011, with unit pricing at $3.95 for volumes in the range of 1,000 pieces.
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.