ST Embeds Smart Features in Three-Axis Accelerometers

GENEVA /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- STMicroelectronics (ST), a leader in MEMS technology and devices, introduced a new family of high-performance three-axis linear accelerometers, with digital output. The 3 mm by 3 mm by 1 mm sensors boast resolution scalability, smart embedded features, and reduced power consumption, addressing the exploding demand for miniaturized motion-sensing solutions in the consumer and industrial markets.

ST's new MEMS accelerometers target a wide range of low-g applications, including motion user interfaces or pedometer in mobile phones, gaming devices, remote controllers, or portable media players, as well as free-fall detection for data-integrity protection in hard-disk drives and vibration monitoring,

All three devices—LIS331DLH, LIS331DLM and LIS331DLF—integrate a host of smart embedded features, including low-power mode, auto wake-up function, free-fall motion, and 6D-orientation detection, as well as a standard SPI/I2C digital interface.

The new three-part sensor family ensures complete resolution scalability. Based on the needs of a specific application, customers can select a 6-, 8- or 12-bit device; all pin-to-pin; motion; and software compatible so that they can be re-used across different projects without the need to change the board and sensor software drivers.

The 6D recognition signals if the accelerometer is up or down along all three axes (X, Y, Z). This information can be used, for example, to automatically mute a phone when it is upside down, and in many other applications.

Contributing to the reduction in power consumption of the entire system, the new accelerometers can be programmed to work in the sleep-to-wake mode, which means the device keeps the read chain active, consuming less than 10 µA, and automatically waking up when an event occur.

A configurable high-pass filter can be turned on to enable motion-activated functions and vibration monitoring regardless of whether the end product is tilted or placed upside down at the moment of measurement.

Two separate, highly programmable interrupt signals enable immediate notification of free fall, motion, or 6D events, giving manufacturers more freedom and flexibility in their design and applications.

ST's new accelerometers deliver high performance at low power consumption, and their ultra-compact robust design provides very high immunity to vibration and shock survivability up to 10,000 g. Built-in self-test capability allows the customer to verify the functioning of the sensor after it has been assembled on board.

Samples of ST's LIS331DLH, LIS331DLM and LIS331DLF are available now, with volume production starting in early 2009. Unit pricing is around $1.50 for 100,000 pieces per year.

For further information on ST's complete MEMS portfolio, visit the company's Web site.

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 net revenues were $10 billion.