Machine Manufacturing

ST Offers Enhanced 3-Axis Digital Gyroscope

April 8, 2010

The new MEMS device includes embedded power-management capabilities and FIFO memory to support new consumer applications and advanced user interfaces for gaming, motion tracking, and camera image stabilization.

GENEVA /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- STMicroelectronics, a leading supplier of MEMS for consumer and portable applications, has extended its motion-sensor portfolio with a high-performance 3-axis digital-output gyroscope that embeds a first-in first-out (FIFO) memory block for smarter power management.

The latest addition to ST's MEMS portfolio, the L3G4200DH gyroscope integrates an on-chip FIFO memory block that stores up to 96 levels, split in 32 sample sets of x-, y-, and z-axis data. The feature eliminates the need for continuous communication of the angular rate data between the sensor and the host processor, which can then spend more time in a sleep mode and dramatically decrease the overall system power consumption. Application designers can program the FIFO for several different operating modes to raise a dedicated watermark (reference) interrupt when the memory is filled to a desired level.

The L3G4200DH 3-axis digital gyroscope has been designed and produced using the same manufacturing-process technology that ST has already successfully applied to more than 700 million motion sensors sold in the market. ST customers benefit from the "industry-unique combination of state-of-the-art product design and the capability to manage the whole supply chain, leveraging large-scale production capacity at the company's dedicated 8-inch MEMS fab." This translates into short product development cycles and time-to-volume for high-performance, cost-competitive sensing devices.

All of ST's MEMS gyroscopes employ an "industry-unique concept of a single sensing structure for motion measurement along all three orthogonal axes." This innovative design approach eliminates all interference between the axes, significantly increasing accuracy and reliability in a wide range of consumer and industrial applications, including advanced user interfaces for gaming and portable devices, motion tracking, and camera image stabilization.

"We are the leading MEMS supplier for the consumer market, where power consumption is a key concern," said Benedetto Vigna, Group Vice President and General Manager of the MEMS, Sensors, and High Performance Analog Division, STMicroelectronics. "ST designers have adopted a strong power-conscious mindset, addressing energy efficiency on both the chip and the system level. This is why all our latest-generation accelerometers and gyroscopes embed application layers and FIFO memory blocks."

ST's newest MEMS gyroscope boasts excellent output stability over time and temperature, removing the need of any further calibration on the customer side. With advanced filtering capabilities for improved noise reduction and application flexibility, the user can limit the selected bandwidth through embedded high- and low-pass filters.

The sensor and the ASIC interface are housed inside an ultra-small 4 by 4 by1 mm package, addressing the size constraints of today's and tomorrow's consumer applications. The gyroscope couples a 16-bit data output with a wide set of user-programmable full-scale ranges from ±250 dps up to ±2000 dps, with the low full-scale values for high accuracy of slow-motion sensing and the high range to detect and measure very fast gestures and movements.

Volume production is scheduled for mid Q3 2010, and the unit price is $2.9 in quantities of 200,000 pieces. For further information on ST's complete MEMS portfolio go to the company's Web site.

About ST
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 2009, the company's net revenues were $8.51 billion.

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