Fairchild, the leader of high-performance semiconductor solutions has launched its primary MEMS product line and the world’s first complete consumer 6D MEMS Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), the FIS1100, with sensor fusion capable of defining system level orientation accuracy. The FIS1100 features a complete system solution for motion tracking, optimized 9D sensor fusion algorithm with in-use auto-calibration, and an AttitudeEngine motion processor for a superior user experience and longer battery life.
“The launch of Fairchild’s first MEMS product is a key milestone for the company as we take our unique design and manufacturing expertise and apply it towards system-level solutions that go beyond power,” said Fairchild Chairman & CEO Mark Thompson. “The advanced algorithms and deep applications knowhow from the Xsens acquisition position us well in enabling our customers to develop advanced motion solutions in diverse, quickly growing segments within markets such as consumer, industrial, and health.”
World’s First MEMS with Intelligent IMU – [Link]
by R. Colin Johnson @ eetimes.com:
PORTLAND, Ore. — In its rush to get to market “while the iron is hot,” Vesper Technologies Inc. (Boston) has announced what it still claims is the industry’s highest signal-to-ratio (SNR) for a high-definition (HD) microelectromechanical system (MEMS) microphone, even though it is scaled back to 68dB rather than the astounding 70dB SNR MEMS mic they previously promised.
“Our roadmap now calls for the 70dB version in 2016, followed by an ultra-miniature, low-power 72dB model in 2017 and a 75dB signal-to-noise ratio model by 2018,” Vesper Chief Executive Officer Matt Crowley told EE Times. “Even at 68dB, our current model VM101 almost doubles the performance compared to current high-end 65 dB SNR capacitive MEMS microphones.”
Industry’s Most Sensitive MEMS Mic – [Link]
SiTime Corporation has introduced a new family of µPower MEMS Oscillators for the wearable, IoT and mobile markets. Compared to an equivalent quartz oscillator the SiT8021 consumes 90% less power, is 40% smaller and 70% lighter. These best in class specifications enable the longest battery life as well as the smallest size and weight for smart watches, fitness bands, tablets, smart phones, portable audio and accessories.
The devices use the SiTime MEMs TempFlat technology which gives excellent stability against temperature changes without the need for temperature sensing and compensation networks.
Tiny µPower MHz MEMS Oscillators – [Link]
by Steve Taranovich @ edn.com:
Gas sensing techniques are continually being investigated to improve selectivity and sensitivity of identifying different types of gases. There are resistive gas sensors, quartz crystal microbalance, direct thermoelectric, electrochemical cell and other exotic types such as MEMS-tunable Fabry-Perot filter spectral sensors with lead-selenide detector and pulsed broadband infrared emitter light source. The ams sensor is a resistive type.
The resistive sensor design relies upon heating circuitry for temperature control of the entire system. There are different types of resistive gas sensor techniques and construction. Some are based upon metal-oxide (MOX) thin films which are small in size, low-cost, and low power as well as able to use low-power integrated analog front ends.
ams develops MEMS VOC gas sensor – [Link]
by R. Colin Johnson @ eetimes.com:
The world’s first microelectromechanical system (MEMS) spectrometer on-a-chip was shown today at at Photonics West (San Francisco, February 10-12) by Si-Ware Systems (SWS, Cairo, Egypt with offices in La Canada, Calif.) Instead of transporting materials across sometimes great distances to be analyzed with a normal bench-top spectrometer, Si-Ware’s MEMS-powered spectrometer fits in the palm of your hand and thus can be taken to the material to be analyzed.
“Spectrometers are usually bench sized, so your have to take the object to the bench, but now with our MEMS sized you can can take the spectrometer to the object,” said executive vice president, worldwide marketing and business development of Si-Ware, Scott Smyser.
World’s 1st Spectrometer On-a-Chip – [Link]
MEMS manufacturer Kionix Inc recently announced the introduction of their thinnest full-functional tri-axis accelerometers: the KX112 (2.0 x 2.0 x 0.6 mm) and the KXCJB (3.0 x 3.0 x 0.45 mm). At 0.45 mm thick the KXCJB is half the thickness of its predecessor.
The size of the KX112 makes it suitable for integration into compact devices for wearable and health/medical applications. A wide range of functionality is built into the small outline with algorithms to detect motion for power management, free-fall detect for device protection or warranty monitoring, an orientation engine for portrait/landscape detection and tap/double-tap for user interface functionality. It also incorporates Kionix’s FlexSet performance optimizing technology for control of accelerometer power usage and noise value trade-off. It features a large 2048-byte FIFO/LIFO buffer which allows the rest of the system to remain in low power mode while the KX112 stores sensor measurements. The accelerometer can supply output data with 8 or 16-bit resolution and with a user selectable range of ± 2g, 4g or 8g.
Tri-axis Accelerometers get Thinner – [Link]
by Steve Taranovich @ edn.com:
The BME680 from Bosch Sensortec is the world’s first environmental sensor combining pressure, humidity, temperature, and indoor air quality in a single 3×3mm2 package.
The new IC enables mobile devices and wearables to monitor indoor air quality measurement in a low power, small footprint package. The level of integration is what makes this solution so attractive as well as Bosch’s capabilities with software algorithms for a full solution.
The IC will enable multiple new capabilities for portable and mobile devices such as air quality measurement, personalized weather stations, indoor navigation, fitness monitoring, home automation, and other applications for the Internet of Things (IoT).
Combo MEMS sensor solution with integrated gas sensor – [Link]
A simplified explanation of how a capacitive MEMS accelerometer works.
How an accelerometer works! – [Link]
by Bill Schweber @ digikey.com:
With very few exceptions, every electronic circuit needs an oscillator, also referred to as a clock, clock generator, or timing circuit. Its role is to provide the “heartbeat” for the processor, memory functions, communications ports, A/D and D/A converters (if any) and many other functions. In non-critical, low-budget situations such as $10 mass-market electronic thermometers, this clock may be made from a simple resistor/capacitor (RC) oscillator. However, for the vast majority of situations which are more critical, the oscillator is based on a quartz crystal (Figure 1). This is a mature (80+ years) and highly effective technology which can support of wide range of frequencies from kHz to hundreds of MHz, with performance spanning fairly good to excellent, depending on the crystal cut, fabrication, packaging, and other considerations.
MEMS Oscillators Challenge Quartz Crystals in RF Applications – [Link]
by Graham Prophet @ edn.com:
STMicroelectronics’ MP23AB02B MEMS microphone maintains ultra-low distortion at less than 10% up to very high external sound-pressure levels, enabling equipment such as smartphones and wearable devices to perform better when placing calls or recording audio in loud environments.
With acoustic overload level of 125 dB SPL and signal-to-noise ratio of 64 dBA, the 3.35 x 2.5 x 0.98-mm microphone employes ST’s dedicated preamplifier design, which prevents saturation of the output signal even when background-noise levels are high, such as in concert venues, bars or clubs, or if the user is speaking loudly close to the microphone. In addition, omnidirectional sensitivity ensures overall performance and versatility in mobile applications.
Smart MEMS mic hears better in loud environments – [Link]