Wireless Applications

The World's Smallest Compass Sports Enhanced Functions

May 15, 2006

Alps Electric develops 3-axis electronic compass that makes use of an advanced magnetic sensor for high-precision sensing functions.

TOKYO /BUSINESS WIRE/ -- Alps Electric has developed a 3-axis electronic compass for mobile phones and other compact mobile devices. To contribute to equipping compact mobile devices with navigation functions, Alps Electric has loaded a compass with three magnetic sensors, leading to the development of "the world's smallest (3.5 mm width by 3.5 mm depth by 1.0 mm height) 3-axis electronic compass with angle-compensation functions." Alps Electric leveraged its high-precision, high-density mounting technology to enable the loading of the new compasses into mobile phones and other compact devices. Although minute, the electronic compass makes use of an advanced magnetic sensor for high-precision sensing functions.

The three magnetic sensors on the compass incorporate Alps' proprietary algorithms for maximum performance, as well as Alps' proprietary giant magneto resistive materials that track 3D directions. Through these, the compass offers angle-compensation functions, magnetic-field-correction functions, and automatic terrestrial-magnetism compensation functions.

Users of the navigation systems do not usually hold their devices level, but hold them naturally in their hands, with the devices at an angle. Accordingly, angle-compensation functions are used to accurately detect the direction in which the user is headed.

In terms of magnetic-field correction, when the compass is loaded in a device with multiple components, effects on its magnetic field due to magnetic noise from other parts is avoided. This ensures its high performance as a part and contributes to better device engineering.

Principal applications include mobile phones, PDAs, car navigation systems, and other compact mobile devices.

For more information, contact alps-pr@jp.alps.com.

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