Electronics & Computers

New Xtrinsic Six-Axis Sensor from Freescale

June 19, 2012

Single-chip sensor fusion solution integrates accelerometer and magnetometer to deliver highly accurate eCompass functionality for mobile devices.

SAN ANTONIO, TX --- Today's sophisticated mobile operating systems require the use of advanced sensor technology to provide data that is more accurate with a faster response time than ever before. Addressing this need, Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE: FSL) introduced an Xtrinsic 6-axis sensor that combines high resolution motion sensing and heading technology with an accelerometer and a magnetometer in a single package.

The new Xtrinsic FXOS8700CQ sensor is optimized for mobile applications, including augmented reality, gaming, navigation and location-based services that require highly accurate orientation data. This expands a portfolio of best in class MMA845x accelerometers and MAG3110 magnetometers to combinational sensors with lower power consumption and increased embedded features in a small 3 x 3 x 1.2 mm package.

"Our Xtrinsic 6-axis sensor captures individual inputs and, with eCompass software, fuses them together, enabling it to output much more exact data that allows mobile devices to make quick, accurate decisions," said Seyed Paransun, vice president and general manager of Freescale's Sensor & Actuator Solutions Division. "Integrating multiple sensors into one device reduces the complexity of developing a complete system solution, decreasing developers' time-to-market and lowering costs."

ABI Research forecasts that the MEMS chip market will grow to nearly $1.5 billion by 2016, driven by the rapidly growing demand for smart mobile devices. Sensor fusion is being designed into many smart mobile devices, enabling advanced functionality such as augmented reality and location-based services. To facilitate the growth of these applications, Freescale has introduced several sensor fusion solutions, including the recently announced Xtrinsic 12-axis sensor fusion platform for portable devices based on the Windows 8 operating system and Xtrinsic eCompass sensor fusion software.

Xtrinsic 6-axis Sensor Features
The Xtrinsic FXOS8700CQ 6-axis sensor combines a 14-bit accelerometer and 16-bit magnetometer with a high-performance ASIC in a single 3 x 3 mm package. This high-performance eCompass solution is capable of providing a typical heading resolution of 0.1° and sub-5° heading accuracy for most applications.

The 6-axis sensor has a wide dynamic range of plus or minus 1200 µT that allows for flexibility in placement on printed circuit boards that incorporate permanent magnets such as speakers and vibrator motors. For platforms with hard iron magnetic interference, the FXOS8700CQ has an embedded autonomous hard iron calibration for low-power hard iron offset compensation.

The FXOS8700CQ is compatible with Xtrinsic eCompass and calibration software designed with a full range of power and performance with floating point and integer code that supports Android, Windows 8 and other operating systems.

Availability and Pricing
The Xtrinsic FXOS8700CQ 6-axis sensor is now available in sample quantities. Production quantities are planned for Q3 2012 from Freescale and its distribution partners at a suggested resale price of $1.55 (USD) in 100,000-piece quantities.

The Freescale Sensor Toolbox provides hardware, software and accessories in a common platform for accelerometers, magnetometers, pressure sensors and touch sensors. Freescale plans to offer the LFSTBEB8700 development board in Q3 for a suggested resale price of $75.00 (USD). The RD4247FXOS8700 includes the Xtrinsic FXOS8700 6-axis sensor development board and a USB board for a suggested resale price of $99.00 (USD). eCompass calibration and compensation algorithms are now compatible with the FXOS8700 6-axis sensor and can be evaluated using the RD4247MAG3110 development system.

A Proven Leader In Sensing Solutions
Expanding on its more than 30-year heritage of sensor innovation, Freescale's Xtrinsic sensing solutions are designed with the right combination of high-performance sensing capability, processing capacity and customizable software to help deliver smart, differentiated sensing applications. With Xtrinsic sensing solutions, Freescale's vision is to offer a diverse and differentiated product portfolio to meet the expanding needs of the automotive, consumer and industrial segments. Xtrinsic solutions offer distinct blends of functionality and intelligence designed to help customers differentiate and win in highly competitive markets.

About the Freescale Technology Forum
Created to drive innovation and collaboration, the Freescale Technology Forum (FTF) has become one of the developer events of the year for the embedded systems industry. The Forum has drawn more than 48,000 attendees at FTF events worldwide since its inception in 2005. Our annual flagship event, FTF Americas, takes place June 18-21, 2012, in San Antonio, TX.

About Freescale
Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE:FSL) is a global leader in embedded processing solutions, providing industry leading products that are advancing the automotive, consumer, industrial and networking markets. From microprocessors and microcontrollers to sensors, analog integrated circuits and connectivity—our technologies are the foundation for the innovations that make our world greener, safer, healthier and more connected. Some of our key applications and end-markets include automotive safety, hybrid and all-electric vehicles, next generation wireless infrastructure, smart energy management, portable medical devices, consumer appliances and smart mobile devices. The company is based in Austin, TX, and has design, research and development, manufacturing and sales operations around the world.

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