ST launches automotive-qualified 3-axis gyro

February 08, 2012 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
STMicroelectronics has introduced what it claims to be the market's first 3-axis digital-output gyroscope that meets the AEC-Q100 industry-standard qualification for automotive integrated circuits. ST's angular-rate sensor aims to add positioning accuracy and stability to a wide range of automotive applications, including in-dash navigation, telematics and vehicle tolling systems.

Accurate measurements of angular-motion detection with ST's automotive-qualified gyroscopes will significantly enhance dead-reckoning and/or map-matching capabilities in car navigation and telematics applications. In situations when a GPS signal can’t be seen, such as indoors and in urban canyons between tall buildings, dead-reckoning systems compensate for loss of satellite signal by monitoring motion, distance traveled and altitude. Precise gyroscope readings can also improve map-matching, the process of aligning a sequence of observed user positions with the road network on a digital map, used in a number of applications, including traffic flow analysis and driving directions.

These new dead-reckoning and map-matching capabilities are enabled with the industry-unique design concept of ST’s gyroscopes, which employ a single sensing structure for motion measurement along all three orthogonal axes. [1] This eliminates any interference between the axes, significantly increasing measurement precision, coupled with excellent output stability over time and temperature.

ST’s A3G4250D gyroscope measures angular rates up to ±250dps (degree per second). An on-chip IC interface converts the angular-motion data into a 16-bit digital bit stream that is transmitted with high reliability to a dedicated microcontroller chip through a standard SPI or I2C protocol. The device provides two output lines (interrupt and data ready) and four user-selectable output data rates.

The 3V single-supply sensor integrates power-down and sleep modes and an embedded FIFO (first-in first-out) memory block for smarter power management. The A3G4250D embeds an 8-bit temperature sensor and operates within an extended temperature range from -40 to 85°C. The device is robust to electromagnetic interference and withstands shocks up to 10,000g.

ST’s 3-axis gyroscope for automotive applications has been designed and produced using the same manufacturing-process technology that ST has already successfully applied to 1.8 billion motion sensors sold in the market. ST customers benefit from the industry-unique combination of state-of-the-art product design and ST’s capability to manage the whole supply chain, leveraging large-scale production capacity at the Company’s dedicated 8-inch MEMS production lines.