Freescale MEMS sensors target mobile
R Colin Johnson
8/14/2012 10:21 AM EDT
PORTLAND, Ore. – As smart touchscreen devices shrink in price and size, MEMS motions sensors must keep pace. To that end, Freescale Semiconductor recently introduced a smaller, cheaper MEMS device the company claims does not compromise on accuracy, noise and power specifications for the next-generation of low-cost smartphones, tablets, digital cameras, portable navigation and health care devices.
Freescale’s new family of Xtrinsic MMA865xFC accelerometers delivers the same performance in a smaller 2-by-2 millimeter package, said Michelle Kelsey, Freescale’s product line manager. “Portable device designers can use these new accelerometers to add sensor intelligence without compromising on sensitivity or performance."
As smaller, thinner smartphones and tablets start employing smart sensors to add intelligence, market researcher IHS predicts that global revenue for MEMS motion sensors will grow during the next five years from $1.1 billion in 2011 to $1.9 billion by 2015.
Xtrinsic accelerometers come it two flavors, the MMA8652FC with 12-bit resolution (77 cents) and the MMA8653FC with 10-bit resolution (66 cents)--both in a 4-square-mm package. Both offer a 56 percent reduction in volume compared to Freescale's previous 3-axis accelerometers but includes a DSP to perform gesture detection, image stability and other functions. Smartphones, tablets and other portable devices can use the new accelerometers for orientation detection, compass applications and location-based services.
Freescale also claims power consumption savings of up to 96 percent are possible when appropriate sample rates and sleep/standby modes are selected.