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3D MEMS-based accelerometer addresses automotive, consumer, medical markets

April 30, 2012 | Christoph Hammerschmidt | 222902207
3D MEMS-based accelerometer addresses automotive, consumer, medical markets Very high accelerations along all three axes senses a MEMS from STMicroelectronics. With its measurement range of up to 400g, the device suits applications in car black boxes as well as medical monitoring devices or even sports equipment.

According to STMicroelectronics, there is a need to detect and measure high-g shocks in a broad range of applications. Whereas existing high-g shock-detection solutions are mostly based on single- or dual-axis, power-hungry 'airbag-type' sensors, ST's new high-g accelerometers deliver both the three-dimensional precision and ultra-low current consumption optimized for battery-operated applications.

Power-stingy, precise high-shock detection devices open new possibilities for portable medical instrumentation and concussion monitoring in high-impact sports like ice hockey, American football or car racing. ST's high-g sensors can also significantly improve crash-detection capabilities in event data recorders (black boxes) and freight monitoring systems, as well as enhance anti-shock protection functionality in consumer electronics.

ST's high-g accelerometers provide three-axis motion sensing across selectable from ±100 g up to ±400 g full-scale ranges, and boast excellent stability over time and temperature.  An on-chip IC interface converts the acceleration data into a 12-bit digital bit stream that is transmitted with high reliability to a dedicated microcontroller chip through a standard SPI or I2C protocol.

The H3LIS331DL combines a novel sensing-structure design with the market-proven low-power interface of ST's LIS331DLx acceleration sensors, the industry-standard devices that have shipped in several hundred million units to date.

Samples of ST's high-g accelerometers are available and volume production is expected to start by the end of Q2 2012. Unit pricing is $5 for volumes in the range of 1,000 pieces. Further pricing options are available for larger quantities.

Further information on ST can be found at www.st.com.










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