ST Microelectronics have introduced a new family of high-performance three-axis linear accelerometers with digital output. The tiny 3x3x1mm sensors boast resolution scalability, smart embedded features and reduced power consumption, addressing the exploding demand for miniaturised motion-sensing solutions in the consumer and industrial markets.
The new ST’s MEMS (Micro Electro-Mechanical System) 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 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 10uA, 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 10,000g. 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 from early 2009.