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New 3-Axis MEMS Accelerometers Offer Size and Power Advantages

October 6, 2006

STMicroelectronics' sensors are suitable for a wide range of applications, including free-fall detection for hard-disk data protection, vibration monitoring and compensation, anti-theft and vehicle navigation systems, and motion user interfaces in mobile and gaming devices.


GENEVA /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- STMicroelectronics (ST), a leading supplier of MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical system) devices, introduced the first two devices in its new family of low-g linear accelerometers, distinguished by small form factor and low power consumption. The feature-rich LIS302 sensors meet the growing demand for smart functionality, such as hard-disk drive protection and motion-controlled operation, in today's mobile phones, digital audio players, and laptops.

ST's new 3-axis motion sensors represent a significant step forward in product miniaturization. Developed in-house, the 3 x 5 x 0.9 mm plastic package perfectly meets the space and weight constraints in mobile phones and other portable electronic devices. The new accelerometers deliver high performance at low power consumption (1mW) and their ultra-compact robust design provides high vibration and shock survivability, up to 10,000g.

From analog products with embedded features to smart sensors with digital interface, the broad-range LIS302 series addresses different system needs and hardware characteristics in a wide range of low-g applications, from hard-disk drive protection to intuitive man-machine interaction in consumer applications.

ST's LIS302DL is the "first sensor on the market" with a standard SPI/I2C digital interface and two independent programmable interrupt signals. The two separate signals make it possible to monitor the end device for 'free fall' and 'high-g motion' states at the same time. Alternatively, both signals can be used for either state at two different thresholds, for example to distinguish between free fall and rolling. This gives manufacturers more freedom and flexibility in the application design and configuration.

The second device, the analog-output LIS302ALB sensor provides separated acceleration values for all three (X, Y, Z) axes, as well as a multiplexed signal. The embedded 3-to-1 multiplexer saves costs and space on the board, as well as reduces the layout risks inherent in multiple analog nets.

ST's new LIS302 accelerometers are suitable for a wide range of applications, including free fall detection for hard-disk data protection, vibration monitoring and compensation, anti-theft and vehicle navigation systems, and motion user interfaces in mobile and gaming devices.

"ST began making MEMS devices for the high-volume consumer market with a broad family of multi-axis motion sensors in low-cost QFN packages, measuring 7 x 7 x 1.8 mm, and was also the first to develop two plastic LGA packages, with dimensions of only 7 x 5 x 1 and 5 x 5 x 1.5 mm, which are in high-volume production today," said Benedetto Vigna, general manager of ST's MEMS Business Unit. "Now, the LIS302 family, with its 3 x 5 mm footprint and 0.9 mm thickness, represents the new LGA generation of ultra-compact 1-mW power-consumption smart accelerometers. Available in analog or digital type devices, they provide not only a voltage or bitstream, but also simple-to-use interrupt signals."

The LIS302DL and LIS302ALB sensors have been in production since Q3 2006 for selected markets and will be available by the end of 2006 for use in all markets. Both the devices, which use ST's ECOPACK Pb-free technology for RoHS-compliance (the EU's Restriction on Use of Hazardous Substances Directive), are housed in the ultra-compact lead-free LGA (Land Grid Array) package, measuring 3 x 5 x 0.9 mm. Indicative pricing in quantities of 10,000 pieces is $4.5 for the LIS302ALB and $5 for the LIS302DL.

For further information on the LIS302 accelerometers and ST's complete MEMS portfolio, see the company's Web site.

About ST's MEMS Portfolio
ST's MEMS inertial sensors target a wide array of applications in computer peripherals, consumer, telecommunications, and automotive markets. ST accelerometers initiate the deployment of car alarm systems and detect excessive vibrations in electronic home appliances. ST's MEMS devices also open new possibilities for intuitive man-machine interaction in gaming and mobile applications, enabling users to interact with the system by simply tilting the device in the desired direction. Market analysts predict that by 2010, there will be one accelerometer in each portable hard-disk-based device (e.g., laptops and audio/video players) and every mobile phone, representing a total of more than 1.5 billion units.

About STMicroelectronics
STMicroelectronics is a global leader in developing and delivering semiconductor solutions across the spectrum of microelectronics applications. An unrivalled combination of silicon and system expertise, manufacturing strength, Intellectual Property portfolio, and strategic partners positions the company at the forefront of system-on-chip technology, and its products play a key role in enabling today's convergence markets. The company's shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, on Euronext Paris, and on the Milan Stock Exchange. In 2005, the company's net revenues were $8.88 billion, and net earnings were $266 million. Further information on ST can be found on the company's Web site.


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