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Smart MEMS enhance mobile system functions

Posted: 14 Nov 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:MEMS? display? digital?

As more mobile devices integrate MEMS chips to identify orientation and control functions from scrolling the display to avoiding damage from drops, accelerometers require low power for always-on operation to prolong battery life.

Kionix Inc. has introduced what it claims as the industry's lowest power with the release of its digital-output, tri-axis accelerometers combined with smart, hard-wired on-chip algorithms tailored to unburden a mobile device's MCU.

The KXTE9 accelerometer uses only 30?A of power compared with the usual 200?A to 300?A, according to Eric Eisenhut, VP, sales and marketing, Kionix. He added that the embedded algorithms for orientation and activity monitoring ease the implementation of user-experience enhancements by automatically signaling switches from landscape to portrait orientation.

Most mobile device's microprocessors implement detection of orientation from raw accelerometer sensor data, but Kionix embedded algorithms signal when to switch from landscape and portrait mode, as well as power management functions like go-to-standby mode when face-down or inactive and turn-on when face-up or active.

The company is also looking into more sophisticated innovations to its embedded smart algorithms for the next accelerometer models.

- R. Colin Johnson
EE Times

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