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MEMS Sensing Applications to Help Users Determine Direction and Location

STMicroelectronics has recently introduced a comprehensive hardware solution for complex sensing products with 10 degrees of freedom (DoF). They have also launched three thin MEMS sensors that offer precise data on angular, magnetic and linear motion combined with altitude readings, improving navigation and user interface in handheld consumer systems such as mobile phones.

Portable consumer applications including area-based solutions and pedestrian dead-reckoning for multi-floor and indoor navigation need complicated sensing solutions. The device includes three sensors including a gyroscope, a geo-magnetic module, and a pressure sensor to measure linear acceleration, earth gravity, angular velocity, altitude and heading. These features will enable mobile users to determine their direction and exact location in any place that they may go to where there are minimal GPS signals, including interiors of buildings or in hilly and forested terrain.

The company has also launched a filtering and analytical software engine, iNEMO, which incorporates the data from three-axis gyroscopes, accelerometers and magnetic sensors through advanced algorithms, to offer precise sensor performance. The three chip 10DoF sensor solution comprises the following modules.03DLHC geo-magnetic module incorporates high-resolution, three-axis sensing of magnetic and linear motion in a 3x5x 1mm package, and operates at 110microamps. It offers precise yield up to +16g linear acceleration and +8 Gauss magnetic field. It is available with features such as 4D/6D orientation sensing and two programmable interrupt signals that help in motion-sensing and free fall.

The L3G4200D three-axis digital gyroscope is available in a 4x4x1mm package and offers accurate yield and stability. It combines a 16-bit data yield with multiple of user-friendly ranges from +250dps up to +2000dps. An integrated FIFO memory block eliminates the need for the sensor and the host processor to interact continuously, making it power-efficient.

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