Wireless Applications

Freescale Introduces Advanced Triple-Axis Acceleration Sensors

January 9, 2007

The low-power accelerometers deliver advanced motion sensing in a smaller package, with zero-g detection for freefall protection and self-testing functionality.


LAS VEGAS /BUSINESS WIRE/ -- Freescale Semiconductor, a leading designer and manufacturer of MEMS-based sensor devices, is addressing the increasing demands for motion sensing in today's smart mobile devices with the introduction of three highly sensitive XYZ-axis accelerometers.

From MP3 players to PDAs to ultra-small laptops, today's consumers increasingly define themselves by the kinds of portable electronics devices they use and how they customize them. Designers of portable devices continually look for ways to incorporate larger displays and add new features without increasing device size. Designers also focus on ways to make portable devices more reliable and robust by incorporating motion-sensing technology designed to safeguard fragile electronic components. For consumer electronics that require fast response times, low current consumption, low-voltage operation, and sleep mode in small-profile packages, Freescale's MMA7360L, MMA7340L, and MMA7330L triple-axis accelerometers provide ideal motion-sensing solutions.

"We're entering a very exciting period of industry growth as MEMS sensors are being integrated into an increasingly diverse array of applications within the consumer market," said Marlene Bourne, Principal Analyst at Bourne Research. "Sales of MEMS sensors for use in consumer electronics are forecast to exceed $750 million in 2010, as more manufacturers embrace the improved functionality and performance that MEMS sensors offer."

Freescale's MEMS sensor devices are designed to enable selectable sensitivity of 1.5 g/6 g for the MMA7360L, 3 g/12 g for the MMA7340L, and 4 g/16 g for the MMA7330L. The ability to select various heightened multi-axis sensitivities is essential to detect fall, tilt, motion, position, shock, and vibration for multiple portable applications and functions. The MMA73x0L analog output sensors are housed in a 3 by 5 by 1 mm Land Grid Array (LGA) package that is 71% smaller in volume than the Quad Flat No-Lead package, which makes them an excellent fit for small-footprint portable applications.

"Freescale's continuous innovation in acceleration sensor technology, coupled with an unparalleled large-scale supply chain and leadership in automotive safety quality, is enabling greater functionality for portable electronics in the expanding price-sensitive consumer market," said Demetre Kondylis, General Manager of Freescale's Sensor and Actuator Solutions Division. "With the introduction of these small form factor inertial sensors, designers now have greater flexibility to explore smarter motion awareness capabilities for next-generation consumer electronics that require ever smaller components."

Low-g Triple-Axis Accelerometer Applications
Sensitivity to small changes in motion and tilt makes the MMA73x0L sensors well suited for mobile and 3D-gaming product user interfaces. The heightened multi-axis sensitivity and full range of motion allow mobile and game users to make very small movements that are then reflected in accurate responses when scrolling, flying, driving, and executing other quick responses.

Thanks to enabling technologies such as Freescale's MMA73x0L sensors, consumers of smart portable electronics products are better protected against disk-drive damage caused by accidentally dropping their laptops, PDAs, and MP3 players. Zero-g detection provides a logic interrupt signal when all three axes are at zero-g. The advanced motion sensing from these three-axis accelerometers detects when a device is falling and takes steps to prevent damage to sensitive electronics components.

The MMA73x0L sensors also provide enabling technology for anti-theft applications designed to safeguard laptop computers. An accelerometer within a laptop security system can be used to detect improper motion and trigger an audible alarm.

Freescale's low-g accelerometers currently are available with analog output, enabling a high degree of linearity for motion-sensing applications. To offer developers greater design flexibility, Freescale plans to offer digital output accelerometers later in 2007.

MMA7360L, MMA7340L, and MMA7330L Features

  • Low-dimension LGA 3 by 5 by 1 mm package
  • Zero-g detect for freefall protection
  • XYZ: three axes of sensitivity in one device
  • Customer-selectable g-range
    • MMA7360L: 1.5 g/6 g
    • MMA7340L: 3 g/12 g
    • MMA7330L: 4 g/16 g
  • Low current consumption at 400 µA
  • Sleep mode at 3 µA for extended battery life
  • Low-voltage operation at 2.2-3.6 V
  • Self-test function
  • Fast power-up response time at 1 ms
  • Enable response time at 0.5 ms
  • High sensitivity with low noise for higher resolution and greater accuracy

Pricing and Availability
The MMA7360L, MMA7340L, and MMA7330L sensors are available in sample quantities, with general availability expected in the second quarter of 2007. The suggested resale price in 10,000-piece quantities starts at $3.66 for the MMA7360L, $3.59 for the MMA7340L, and $3.53 for the MMA7330L. Suggested consumer product pricing is less than $2 in high volume.

Evaluation kits also are available for the MMA7360L, MMA7340L, and MMA7330L sensors. The small circuit boards can be used to evaluate the devices to quickly develop prototypes. An external microcontroller, such as Freescale's 8-bit MC9S08QG8CDTE MCU, can be used in the end design. The kits—KIT3376MMA7360LE, KIT3376MMA7340LE, and KIT3376MMA7330LE—are available at a suggested resale price of $35 each.

For more information about these sensors, visit the company's Web site.

About Freescale Semiconductor
Freescale Semiconductor Inc. is a global leader in the design and manufacture of embedded semiconductors for the automotive, consumer, industrial, networking, and wireless markets. The privately held company is based in Austin, TX, and has design, research and development, manufacturing, or sales operations in more than 30 countries. Freescale is one of the world's largest semiconductor companies, with sales of $6.2 billion for the most recently reported four quarters.

Freescale and the Freescale logo are trademarks of Freescale Semiconductor Inc. All other product or service names are the property of their respective owners.


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