By Cameron Chai
STMicroelectronics has launched a series of geo-magnetic modules. The low-power product integrates three-axis sensing of linear and magnetic movement in a 5x5x1mm package to deliver navigation and location-based activities in mobile consumer devices. Market research analyst, iSuppli predicts that the market for digital compasses could grow at a CAGR of 12%, by 2015.
Motion and magnetic sensors ensure improvements in electronic compassing used in mobile phones, direction finding, map/display orientation, location-based activities and pedestrian dead reckoning.
The LSM303DLM geo-magnetic device has been developed with a micromachining technology procedure. It combines precision sensing with smart integrated features such as 6D orientation sensing; two programmable interrupt signals ensuring prompt notification of movement sensing, free fall, and wake-up/power-down functionality. It delivers energy efficiency on the chip and system levels and consumes 360micro-A during operation, which signifies a 50% decrease over devices presently under production.
The module offers precise yield across full ranges of ±2/4/8g (linear acceleration) and from ±1.3 to ±8Gauss(3) (magnetic field). It remains stable over time and various operating temperatures, and enhanced magnetic sensing resolution. It is pin-to-pin and can be used with the software of the earlier edition, enabling users to 'hot swap' and save application development costs.