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Geo-magnetic sensors: propelling disruptive consumer apps

Posted: 19 Mar 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:geo-magnetic sensors? disruptive consumer applications? MEMS gyroscopes magnetometers?

Despite the turmoil the semiconductor industry went through in 2009, the MEMS market has remained almost flat in value compared with 2008. Shipments have grown up of about 10 percent on the same period, and these results clearly mark the increasing penetration of MEMS into consumer appliances.

According to iSuppli, the outlook of the MEMS market for 2010 and beyond is good, and the MEMS market is expected to return to double-digit growth in 2010 and an overall CAGR of 12.2 percent for the period covering 2009-2013.

MEMS sensors are well recognized to be the key building blocks for the implementation of disruptive applications in consumer devices. Consumer devicesfrom game consoles to mobile phones and from laptops to white goodshave already benefited in the recent years from the usage of low-g accelerometers for the implementation of motion-activated user interfaces and enhanced protection systems. It is now the turn of MEMS gyroscopes and geo-magnetic sensors, whose usage is propelling a new wave of compelling applications, to be discussed.

Much has been already written about the technology behind MEMS accelerometers, sensors capable of detecting linear accelerations. Accelerometers will thus be barely touched in this article, leaving the space to gyroscopes, geo-magnetic sensors and to devices capable of providing multiple degrees of freedom to sensing.

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