MEMS sensor delivers ten degrees of freedom
An emerging new class of mobile consumer applications, such as location-based services and pedestrian dead-reckoning for indoor and multi-floor navigation, require rather complex sensing capabilities.
ST claims that by using just three MEMS sensors – a geo-magnetic module, a gyroscope, and a pressure sensor – a consumer device can have a complete indication of its linear acceleration, angular velocity, earth gravity, heading and altitude.
With this information, mobile users will be able to identify their direction and precise location in all three dimensions everywhere they go, including in places with no or low GPS signal, such as inside buildings in urban canyons or in mountainous and forested terrain.
ST has also recently introduced its advanced filtering and predictive software engine, iNEMO, which integrates the outputs from 3-axis accelerometers, gyroscopes and magnetic sensors. The iNEMO engine is said to deliver dramatically more accurate and reliable sensor performance – the kind of performance now in demand by makers of next-generation smart consumer devices for enhanced motion-based applications.
Also, ST’s soon-to-be-announced silicon pressure sensor is said to use an innovative technology to provide extremely high resolution measurements of pressure – and therefore also of altitude – in an ultra-compact and thin 3 x 3 x 1mm package. The device has an operating pressure range of 260 – 1260 millibars, corresponding to the atmospheric pressures between -700 and +10000 m relative to sea level, and can detect height variations as small as 0.3 m.
For further information: www.st.com/mems.