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VTI Offers a Unique Sensor Solution for Use in Vehicles

October 12, 2006

The manufacturer of MEMS motion and pressure sensors for automotive applications is launching an accelerometer and inclinometer platform for vehicle-stability control.


HELSINKI, FINLAND /MARKET WIRE/ -- VTI Technologies, a major manufacturer of high-performance motion and pressure sensors for automotive and consumer related applications, is launching a "best-in-class" accelerometer and inclinometer platform for vehicle-stability control and related systems worldwide.

The new VTI automotive digital accelerometer platform is intended for single and multiple axis acceleration and inclination measurement. It has been developed to meet the most demanding needs of vehicle electronic systems using digital signal processing, introducing several important safety features, such as continuous self-test. The components form a complete set of low-g accelerometers, with the same mechanical design and SPI-interface. They are small in size, high in performance, and require only one PCB design for all versions. They cover acceleration and inclination measurements in applications like electronic stability control (ESC), hill-start assistant (HSA), electronic parking brake (EPB), roll stability, roll over and electrically controlled suspension. The multiple options for each car platform can be covered with one ECU or sensor cluster design by selecting the appropriate sensor version from VTI's new accelerometer series.

"This new digital concept offers acceleration and inclination sensing as a complete platform, which has in all directions the same pin-out in one-, two- and three-axis accelerometers. This means major savings to our customers in broad range of automotive applications", explains Hannu Laatikainen, vice president of sales and marketing for automotive products at VTI. "The new generation of 3D-MEMS sensing elements for multiple axis are very small (2.6 by 2.0 by 1.6 mm), allowing same package size for all designs from one to three axis. These products also support the trend in automotive electronics towards smart integration and better reliability with intelligent self-test features—more intelligence and functions included into the same sensor packages."

A major application area for the new accelerometers is in the sensor cluster needed for ESC. ESC is an active safety system that recognizes unstable driving conditions at the very outset and applies corrective action automatically. ESC works by monitoring the actual car motion with several sensors and compares this information to the driver's input. In an unstable condition, the ESC intervenes via the engine electronics and the brake system to help stabilize the vehicle. An accelerometer is needed as part of ESC to measure lateral acceleration. In more advanced vehicles and systems, longitudinal acceleration/inclination is measured if the car is 4-wheel driven or has an automatic hill-start-assistant function or electronic parking brake. Vertical acceleration measurement is needed for suspension and roll over detection.

VTI in Brief
VTI Technologies is a global market leader in low-g acceleration sensors for automotive industry applications and cardiac rhythm management (CRM). Application areas for the company's motion and pressure sensors include the automotive industry, sports and wellness, medical and instruments, as well as handheld terminals.

VTI develops and produces silicon-based capacitive sensors using its proprietary 3D-MEMS (micro-electromechanical system) technology, with application areas in acceleration, inclination, shock, vibration, angular rate, and pressure measurement.

VTI is owned by EQT III private equity fund. VTI's net sales in 2005 totaled EUR 74.7 million, and the company has approx. 700 employees. Along with the head office in Finland and its global partner network, VTI's international sales and marketing network includes offices in Germany, USA, Japan, and China. Besides Finland, VTI also has manufacturing operations in Mexico.


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