ST Introduces Motion Sensor for Smarter Vehicles

GENEVA /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- STMicroelectronics, a leading developer of automotive semiconductors and MEMS (microelectromechanical system) technologies, has introduced a new motion sensor, providing accurate measurements of vehicle movement for systems such as adaptive front lights, auto-leveling high-intensity-discharge lamps, inertial brake lights, e-parking brake, advanced anti-theft systems, and control of vehicle dynamics.

The AIS226DS is a two-axis in-plane accelerometer, capable of "greater accuracy than is possible using two individual sensors." The device senses acceleration up to plus or minus 6 g, where 1 g is the acceleration due to gravity. For example, 3 g is the approximate acceleration experienced in a manned rocket during launch into space. The new AIS226DS can also resolve incredibly tiny angles of incline, smaller than 0.02°. The ability to accurately measure incline is important in auto-leveling lamp, e-parking brake, and hill-start aid applications.

Motion is sensed using a tiny MEMS motion detector built on a silicon chip. An interface chip, available with an SPI or I2C output, is also integrated, enabling direct connection to the vehicle's Electronic Control Unit.

Other vehicle systems that can use the AIS226DS include event recorders for monitoring accidents or abusive driving and GPS navigation systems, using movement data for improved dead reckoning when the satellite signal is lost. There are also many nonautomotive applications, such as vibration sensing in industrial equipment, black-box security monitors for shipping containers, inclinometers, and robotic systems.

The AIS226DS owes part of its high sensing accuracy to the low intrinsic noise of the electronic interface chip, which includes high-precision 16-bit ADCs. The low noise allows usable converter resolution of 14 bits over a significant bandwidth, corresponding to a resolution of 0.25 mg (on 2 g full-scale). The sensor is also highly stable and maintains high accuracy (plus or minus 70 mg) throughout the automotive temperature range –40°C to 105°C, offering offset drift in the range of 0.2 mg per °C. The AIS226DS, assembled in a sturdy SO16W full-molded package, is qualified to the AEC-Q100 automotive quality standard.

The AIS226DS is sampling to lead customers, with volume production planned for Q1 2010. Pricing is from $2.50 in quantities of 100,000 units.

About ST's MEMS Technology
ST has high-quality, in-house facilities for designing and building MEMS devices. These are an important new class of components, enabling movement-based features for products such as game controllers and mobile phones, in addition to automotive, industrial, and medical equipment. ST's 8-inch wafer-processing capability for MEMS fabrication produces large numbers of devices simultaneously, giving economies of scale unmatched by competitors' processes, using 6-in. wafers. This allows ST to deliver innovative MEMS products to market quickly and at highly competitive prices.

About ST
STMicroelectronics is a global leader, serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, with innovative semiconductor solutions. ST aims to be the undisputed leader in multimedia convergence and power applications, leveraging its vast array of technologies, design expertise, and combination of intellectual property portfolio, strategic partnerships, and manufacturing strength. In 2008, the company's net revenues were $9.84 billion.

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