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3-axis MEMS gyroscope boasts power, design improvement

Posted: 13 Aug 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:STMicroelectronics? L3GD20H? gyroscope? consumer electronics? tablet?

STMicroelectronics has announced what it claims as its smallest, lowest-power and highest-performance chip-scale gyroscope for advanced motion-sensing applications, measuring 3 x 3 x 1mm. According to the company, L3GD20H enables smaller sensing mechanisms in smart consumer electronics such as mobile phones, tablets, game consoles, digital cameras and industrial tools.

The dimensions of the gyroscope allow experimental projects such as wearable electronics to move closer toward true practicality. One such application is the prototype smart suit that ST used to demonstrate inertial body-motion reconstruction that can help enhance various applications such as augmented reality, sports training aids or medical therapy.

In addition to enabling advanced product miniaturization, ST's L3GD20H helps conserve battery power by drawing 25 percent lower current than the previous generation of devices. The L3GD20H is also ready for action in only one-fifth of the time after turn on, enabling the end-user application to deliver a better overall experience. Finally, the gyroscope's output has 60 percent lower noise, which can help to simplify hardware and software design and speed up communication with the host system leading to faster application performance, detailed the company.

The gyroscope retains a similar register structure as its predecessor (L3GD20), making it easy for designers to reuse existing software code and thus reduce time to market and lower development costs, said ST. Designers will also benefit from the company's Sensor Fusion development environment.

The device has three selectable full-scale ranges (245/500/2000dps) and an I2C/SPI two-line digital interface. It also features integrated low- and high-pass filters with user-selectable bandwidth, and power-down and sleep modes. In addition, the gyroscope has an embedded temperature sensor and FIFO.

The L3GD20H, housed in the LGA-16 leadless surface-mount package, is scheduled to begin sampling in 3Q12 and to enter mass production in Q4 priced at $2.60 in quantities of 1,000 units. Alternative pricing options for higher quantities are available on request.

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