Friday, March 23, 2012

ST reveals next gen high-performance inertial modules for advanced consumer apps

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND: STMicroelectronics has introduced a new member of the iNemo sensing family, a 9-Degree Of Freedom, fully integrated sensor module, to enable advanced movement and location-sensitive apps, location-based services (LBS) and indoor navigation on portable devices in smaller form factors.

Combining motion and position detection is opening exciting new opportunities, for smartphones and tablets as well as for portable products, such as personal navigation devices. Market research firm IHS iSuppli expects that four billion motion sensors will ship in mobile phones and media tablets in 2015. ST’s new iNemo family of inertial sensors introduces new high-performance modules with 9-DOF (Degree of Freedom) inertial sensing by combining a 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope and 3-axis magnetic sensor in a single package.

The first module in the family, the LSM333D, matches the high performance of the industry’s best discrete equivalent sensors by leveraging ST’s unique packaging expertise, its portfolio of more than 600 MEMS patents, and the experience of having delivered more than two billion sensors to the market. Moreover, ST‘s proficiency with MEMS technology enables it to produce this module in high volumes, allowing smartphone designers to drive system integration in new products supporting advanced context-sensitive user features.

“ST is able to integrate three sensors in the 16mm3 footprint that 12 months ago was the industry norm for a single sensor,” said Roberto De Nuccio, Business Development Manager for ST’s Analog, MEMS and Sensors Group. “Combining this aggressive technology advancement with outstanding sensor performance enables smartphone producers to create new features delivering extra value for end users.”

As a 9-degree-of-freedom system-in-package, the LSM333D greatly simplifies product design and saves about 30 percent of pc-board space compared to a discrete solution. Moreover, sensor-fusion software helps product designers enable indoor navigation, LBS, dead reckoning and advanced motion and position detection. The high performance and integration of this module provides the foundation for future generations of advanced, context-sensitive apps and services.

Further advantages of the LSM333D include a built-in temperature sensor and smart power management for longer handset battery life. In addition, the module allows the choice of either I2C or SPI connection to the main system controller, thereby providing extra flexibility for designers that competing modules do not offer.

Key features of LSM333D:
* Magnetic full-scale range: ±2 to ±12 gauss selectable.
* Linear acceleration full-scale range: ±2 to ±16 g selectable.
* Rotational acceleration full-scale range: ±250 to ±2000 dps selectable
SPI and I2C serial interfaces.
* Smart power management.
* Programmable interrupt generators for freefall/motion/magnetic-field detection.
* Embedded temperature sensor.
* Embedded FIFO.

The LSM333D is available now in a 3.5 x 6 x 1mm package, and will soon enter volume production in the 4 x 4 x 1mm package with a footprint of 16mm3. Please contact your ST sales office for pricing options and sample requests.

ST MEMS business highlights:
* First major manufacturer in the world to set up a dedicated 8-inch MEMS fabrication line (2006).
* Surpassed one billion MEMS shipments, November 2010.
* <$650 million MEMS sales in 2011, with 50 percent share of consumer accelerometer market and 70 percent share of MEMS gyroscopes market (IHS iSuppli).
* Announced two-billionth MEMS device shipped, February 2012.
* Currently holding around 600 MEMS-related patent families.
* A pioneer in the integration of plastic packaging and MEMS technologies, utilizing advanced packaging know-how to avoid mechanical stress on sensitive MEMS elements.

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