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Posted: October 12, 2009

STMicroelectronics Innovates High-Accuracy Motion Sensor for Smarter Vehicle Electronics

(Nanowerk News) STMicroelectronics, a leading developer of automotive semiconductors and MEMS (Micro Electro-Mechanical System) technologies, has introduced a new motion sensor providing accurate measurements of vehicle movement for systems such as adaptive front lights, auto-levelling HID (high-intensity discharge) lamps, inertial brake lights, e-parking brake, advanced anti-theft systems and control of vehicle dynamics.
The AIS226DS is a two-axis in-plane accelerometer capable of greater accuracy than is possible using two individual sensors. The device senses acceleration up to ±6g, where one ‘g’ is the acceleration due to gravity. As an example, 3g is the approximate acceleration experienced in a manned rocket during launch into space. The new AIS226DS can also resolve incredibly tiny angles of incline, smaller than 0.02 degrees. The ability to accurately measure incline is important in auto-leveling lamp, e-parking brake, and HSA (Hill Start Aid) applications.
Motion is sensed using a tiny MEMS motion detector built on a silicon chip. An interface chip, available with an SPI or I2C output, is also integrated, enabling direct connection to the vehicle’s Electronic Control Unit (ECU).
Other vehicle systems that can use the AIS226DS include event recorders for monitoring accidents or abusive driving, and GPS navigation systems using movement data for improved dead reckoning when the satellite signal is lost. There are also many non-automotive applications, such as vibration sensing in industrial equipment, black-box security monitors for shipping containers, inclinometers, and robotic systems.
The AIS226DS owes part of its high sensing accuracy to the low intrinsic noise of the electronic interface chip, which includes high-precision 16-bit analog-to-digital converters. The low noise allows usable converter resolution of 14 bits over a significant bandwidth, corresponding to a resolution of 0.25mg (on 2g full-scale). The sensor is also highly stable and maintains high accuracy (±70mg) throughout the automotive temperature range –40 to +105 degrees C, offering offset drift in the range of 0.2mg per degree C. The AIS226DS, assembled in a sturdy SO16W full-molded package, is qualified to the AEC-Q100 automotive quality standard.
The AIS226DS is sampling to lead customers, with volume production planned for Q1 2010. Pricing is from $2.50 in quantities of 100,000 units.
About ST’s MEMS Technology
ST has high-quality, in-house facilities for designing and building MEMS (Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems) devices. These are an important new class of components enabling movement-based features for products such as game controllers and mobile phones, in addition to automotive, industrial and medical equipment. ST’s 8-inch wafer-processing capability for MEMS fabrication produces large numbers of devices simultaneously, giving economies of scale unmatched by competitors’ processes using 6-inch wafers. This allows ST to deliver innovative MEMS products to market quickly and at highly competitive prices.
About STMicroelectronics
STMicroelectronics is a global leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications with innovative semiconductor solutions. ST aims to be the undisputed leader in multimedia convergence and power applications leveraging its vast array of technologies, design expertise and combination of intellectual property portfolio, strategic partnerships and manufacturing strength. In 2008, the Company’s net revenues were $9.84 billion.
Source: STMicroelectronics (press release)
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