Small multi-sensor MEMS module with programmable motion-recognition

July 17, 2012 // By Nick Flaherty
STMicroelectronics has launched a miniature 6-axis MEMS sensor with custom programmable motion-recognition capabilities.

The LSM330 iNEMO module houses a 3-axis digital gyroscope and a 3-axis digital accelerometer with two embedded finite state machines – programmable blocks that enable custom motion recognition inside the module.These enable the identification of specific motions or gestures and initiate associated actions or applications, such as switching on an augmented-reality view of a near-by object by moving the phone with a specific gesture. Integrated processing capability in MEMS sensors helps decrease power consumption in battery-hungry portable devices and brings more freedom and flexibility to the design of motion-enabled consumer electronics.

The module enhances user experience and motion-sensing realism in today’s space-constrained and power-hungry portable consumer devices and shortcuts the path to wearable sensor applications in sports, fitness and healthcare diagnostics.

ST’s newest inertial module detects acceleration up to 16 g and angular rate up to 2,000 dps along the pitch, roll and yaw axes. The integration of high-resolution linear- and angular-motion sensing in a single device increases system robustness and the advanced module design ensures superior thermal and mechanical stability. The LSM330 multi-sensor module targets a wide range of applications that include wearable sensor applications, motion-activated user interfaces in phones and tablets; motion detection and map-matching for indoor/outdoor navigation, augmented reality and other location-based services.

Addressing power constraints in battery-operated portable devices, the module includes power-down and sleep modes and an embedded FIFO (first-in first-out) memory block for smarter power management. In addition, it can operate with any supply voltage over the range of 2.4 to 3.6 V.

Fully software-compatible with ST’s latest-generation 3-axis digital accelerometers (LIS3DSH) and gyroscopes (L3GD20), the new iNEMO module makes it easy for customers using ST’s single-function sensors to upgrade their designs, reducing the board size, number of external components, and overall application system complexity.

www.st.com/mems