Honeywell Microelectronics & Precision Sensor, represented in Australia by Ramelec Electronics , has developed a new Integrated Circuit (IC) that enables compass pointing and location features in consumer electronics including mobile phones, personal navigation systems and portable auto navigation systems.
The Honeywell HMC5843 chip-scale 3-axis compass IC increases functionality in consumer electronics by providing expanded direction awareness when overlaid on GPS enabled maps. "GPS enabled maps in cell phones show the user where they are located on a map. The new chip's compassing feature will allow the map to orient in the direction the cell phone is facing enabling the user to more easily and intuitively read the digital maps," said Keith Nootbaar, Honeywell Microelectronics & Precision Sensor Senior Business Director.
"The 3-axis magnetic sensors enable the display of compassing, pointing and heading information regardless of the angle the device is being held," Nootbaar said. "Unlike older two-axis compass based hand-held GPS units that need to be held horizontally, Honeywell's HMC5843 three-axis compass allows the mobile phone or personal navigation device to be held in a more natural vertical or tilted position and compensates for the pitch and role of the hand-held device making the end product to be more user friendly," Nootbaar said.
The integrated circuit includes the three-axis Honeywell magnetoresistive sensors, a 12 bit analog to digital converter, and an I2C serial bus interface in a small, 4 x 4 x 1.3 mm surface mount chip-scale package utilizing Honeywell's patented manufacturing IP for the Z axis sensor. The new interface allows for easy integration into devices with the personal navigation or cell phone on-board microprocessor, while the small footprint allows for placement in even the smallest phones.