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ST touts low-power, always-on 6-axis inertial motion sensors

Posted: 05 Dec 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:STMicroelectronics? motion sensor? ARM Cortex? iNEMO? microprocessor?

STMicroelectronics has released a line of always-on 6-axis inertial motion sensors that the company said boasts the industry-lowest power requirements, ultra-compact packaging and exceptional design flexibility. The device family runs all sensor-related functions as well as customer-specific application software onboard while consuming up to 40 percent less power than existing solutions, stated the firm.


The 6-axis sensors claim to deliver best-in-class motion sensing that can detect orientation and gestures to empower application developers and consumers with features and capabilities more sophisticated than simply orienting their devices for portrait and landscape mode. Taking 360-degree panoramic photos simply by slowly rotating your mobile phone or scrolling through maps with a sweep of your arm are just two of many new tricks enabled by this new family of sensors.

Combining modern motion sensing with the powerful 'brains' of an ARM Cortex microprocessor core, the LSM6DB0 6-axis smart sensor is the latest device in ST's iNEMO smart-sensor family. It is the only device on the market that can efficiently run all of the sensor-related features specified in Android KitKat 4.4 on board, saving power, enabling faster reaction time and simplifying device design, indicated the company. Thanks to the open microprocessor architecture, device manufacturers can integrate their own custom sensor application software.

The LSM6DS1 and LSM6DB0 both include the sensor hub to coordinate and synchronize additional sensors, including magnetic and environmental sensors. On the other hand, the LSM6DS0 matches perfectly with baseband chips that include the sensor hub while still delivering the same excellent 6-axis performance. All of the sensors are baseband-agnostic and can operate with any application processor.

The LSM6DB0 is geared for baseband chipsets that don't include a sensor co-processor; all sensor-related functions run onboard to minimize application latency at the system level. This smart sensor is well suited to, and fully compatible with, all of the latest mobile operating systems. For example, it can run all of the features of Android Kit-Kat 4.4, including full sensor configuration and management, smart power management, magnetometer calibrations, gyroscope bias estimation and offset compensation, accelerometer background calibration, 6- and 9-axis fusion, pedometer and step counting, significant motion-data collection, buffering with real-time data-stamp generation, and individual batch mode for all real and virtual sensors.

ST's 6-axis inertial motion sensors, LSM6DB0, LSM6DS1 and LSM6DS0, are sampling now, with volume production scheduled for 1H14.

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