STMicroelectronics Unveils MEMS-Based 3-Axis Motion Sensor
In general, micro electro-mechanical system (MEMS) is technique of manufacturing where both electronic circuits and mechanical devices are integrated on a silicon chip, very similar to an Integrated circuit (IC). This facilitates in the construction of devices such as sensor chips with built-in electronics.
Ideal for mobile phones, motion-sensing applications in space, cost-constrained battery-operated devices and other portable devices, the LIS352AX chip is a motion sensor featuring 3-axis accelerometer with absolute analog output.
In general, an accelerometer is an electro-mechanical device that measures the acceleration it experiences relative to freefall. Available in both single- and multi-axis models, accelerometers are capable of detecting magnitude as well as direction of the acceleration as a vector quantity, and can be used to sense orientation, vibration and shock.
STMicroelectronics said that its latest 3-axis motion sensor has been designed to offer acceleration values in the form of absolute analog outputs. Leveraging internal regulated voltage, the measurements are not sensitive to the typical variations in power-supply voltage that occur in battery-operated devices, such as mobile phones and other portable devices. It can operate with any supply voltage in the range of 2.16V to 3.6V.
Featuring the above voltage-agnostic character, the LIS352AX facilitates equipment manufacturers to save space as well as cost by connecting the sensor directly to the battery without a separate voltage regulator. Since, the sensor is compatible with any power supply voltage used in a given application, design flexibility can be easily achieved, said the company.
The LIS352AX is housed in an environment-friendly 3 x 5 x 1 mm3 plastic package. It operates at a very low noise level with minimized power consumption, which is a key factor in battery-operated portable systems. It is also stable over wide temperature range for both zero-g offset and sensitivity. With this, additional temperature compensation circuit in the application can be eliminated, says company.
STMicroelectronics says that LIS352AX accelerometer's ultra-compact robust design offers very high immunity to vibration and shock survivability - up to 10,000g. A built-in self-test capability has been provided that enables the customer to verify the functioning of the sensor after it has been assembled on board.
According to STMicroelectronics, its MEMS accelerometers are ideal for wide range of low-g applications across consumer and industrial market segments, including free-fall detection for data-integrity protection in hard-disk drives, vibration monitoring and compensation, remote control, as well as motion user interfaces in mobile and gaming devices or portable media players.
Jayashree Adkoli is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Jayashree's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Patrick Barnard