Tag Archives: gyroscope

L20G20IS Gyroscope: The secret behind the perfect picture

STMelectronics introduces a super tiny two-axis gyroscope (L20G20IS), a Micro-Electro-Mechanical system (MEMS) designed for the optical image stabilization for Smartphones with less energy consumption compared to its predecessor (L2G2IS).

A gyroscope, or gyro for short, adds an additional dimension to the information supplied from the accelerometer by tracking rotation or twist. An accelerometer measures linear acceleration of movement, while a gyro on the other hand measures the angular rotational velocity.

The gyro and the accelerometer work together to detect the rotation of phone and other features like tilting of phone while playing racing games, enhancing the overall gaming experience or in this case, achieving optical image stabilization.

The L20G20IS ultra-compact square gyro uses 25% less surface to shrink camera module size, simplify circuit design and allowing development of thinner devices. The gyro fixes the thin substrates deformations resulted by smartphone moves to ensure consistent measurements for image stabilization.


  • ±100 dps / ±200 dps full-scale range
  • 5 degree phase delay · 3.8 mdps/√(Hz) rate noise density
  • Wide supply voltage range: 1.7 V to 3.6 V
  • Low-voltage compatible IOs
  • 3- and 4-wire SPI digital interface
  • Embedded temperature sensor
  • Embedded self-test
  • Integrated low-pass filters with user-selectable bandwidth
  • Power-down and sleep modes for smart power saving
  • ECOPACK®, RoHS and “Green” compliant
  • Volume (2.0 x 2.0 x 0.7)mm
  • Zero-rate Level: 0.03dps/°C (range: -20°C to 75°C)

Also L20G20IS includes a sensing element and an IC interface capable of providing the measured angular rate to the application through an SPI digital interface. It is compatible with single- or dual-camera modules and is available now in the 12-lead 2mm x 2mm LGA package.

Zero-rate level: This value indicates “the deviation of an actual output signal from the ideal output signal if no acceleration is present”, or more clearly the output value that will be generated when there is no movement on the device. This is very important for the phone, it needs to know when it is not moving to be able to stabilize the images with the appropriate values.


Smaller but more efficient gyroscope! The L20G20IS boots 30% faster (in less than 70ms) consuming just 1.4mA (50% less of current than usually). Although, the temperature can affect the sensitivity and the zero-rate level of the gyro, producing wrong measurements for image stabilization by the phone. However, the L20G20IS device has a integrated temperature sensor to guarantee sharper images to the users even with long exposure times.

The smart-camera software saves even more battery with the power-down and sleep modes. Another improve is the  suppression ratio of 6dB, it gives outstanding optical correction to banish camera shake from smartphone photography.

Source:  Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS). ST is a world leader in MEMS devices for mobile applications, with more than 900 MEMS-related patents and patent applications worldwide.

Flight controller unit evaluation board for drones

The STEVAL-FCU001V1 board from ST is designed to support quadcopter drone designers with the latest solutions for motor control, sensors and and microcontroller.

A complete sample FW project allows the designer to begin flying small and medium size quadcopters (with brushed or brushless DC motors) immediately and evaluate the performance of the IMU sensors under real flight conditions. The FCU can be controlled by a standard external remote controller (PWM input interface) or by a smartphone or tablet through the Bluetooth low energy module present on board (CE, FCC, ARIB, BQE certified). Magnetometer and pressure sensors are also embedded to support 3D navigation applications. SWD, I²C and USART connectors are available for FW development and debugging, and to support additional external sensors or RF modules.

Key Features

  • Compact Flight Controller Unit evaluation board complete with sample firmware to a small and medium size quadcopter
  • Lipo 1-cell battery charger on-board
  • Possibility to drive directly 4 DC brushed motors through low voltage on-board MOSFET or alternatively use external ESC for DC brushless motor configuration
  • Main components:
    • STM32F401 – 32-bit MCU with ARM® Cortex®
    • LSM6DSL – iNEMO intertial module: 3D accelerometer and 3D gyroscope
    • LIS2MDL – High performance 3D Magnetometer
    • LPS22HD – MEMS pressure sensor: 260-1260hPa absolute digital output barometer
    • SPBTLE-RF – Very low power module for Bluetooth Smart v4.1
    • STL6N3LLH6 – N-channel 30 V, 6 A STripFET H6 Power MOSFET
    • STC4054 – 800 mA Standalone linear Li-Ion battery charger
  • RoHS compliant

Open-Hardware Reaches The Outer Space with UPSat Satellite

Libre Space Foundation completed the mission of building a completely Open-Source 2U CubeSat Satellite from scratch. It’s called “UPSat”.

On April 18th at Cape Canaveral in Florida, Atlas V Rocket launched Private Cygnus Cargo Ship, and UPSat was among its cargo.

Subsystems of UPSat. Image courtesy of UPSat

With both software and hardware parts published on github. UPSat seems to be a real open hardware project.

Let’s have a quick overview of the UPSat’s subsystems:

  • Electrical Power Subsystem EPS: This subsystem controls the CubeSat’s electrical power. UPSat is powered by 7 PV solar cells and 3 Li-Po rechargeable batteries (3.7V, 4Ah).
  • Image Acquisition Component IAC: The goal of the IAC is to shoot relatively good quality images pointing down to the Earth. IAC consists of a linux embedded board( DART4460 running OpenWRT), and a USB camera Ximea MU9PM-MH with attached lens.
  • Attitude Determination and Control Subsystem ADCS: The ADCS is armed with 3-axis digital gyroscope, magnetometer, Sun Tracker’s pointing vector GPS and Magneto-Torquers. This subsystem is responsible for stabilization of the cube satellite and orienting it in the desired direction.
  • On Board Computer subsystem OBC:  The brain of the satellite for decision making and monitoring of all subsystems. It’s based on STM32F4 microcontroller and uses FreeRTOS firmware.


  • Communications Subsystem COMMS: It’s based on CC1120, the TI’s High-Performance RF Transceiver.  Because of the low current consumption, the success of employing it in previous missions and other couple of reasons, the folks behind this project selected CC1120 among the others.

The project is completely open-Hardware and even the UPSat’s structure design files are available.

Source: Open Electronics

MEMS — A 22-billion-dollar-worth industry by 2018

Thanks to Micro-Electro-Mechanical-Systems MEMS technology, which will be a 22-billion-dollar-worth industry by 2018, our mobile phones are equipped with accelerometers and gyroscopes so they know the direction and rotate our mobile screen as needed. The applications of MEMS had expanded a lot in various fields like: energy harvesting using piezoelectric effect, microphones, gyroscopes, pressure sensors, accelerometers and many more. Moreover, this micro-level technology is going to be nano-level with Nano-Electro-Mechanical-Systems NEMS.

Image is adapted from HowToMechatronics.com YouTube channel

The basic idea behind MEMS is about having moving parts inside the silicon chip. Accelerometers for example, one of the most famous applications of MEMS, sense the acceleration by measuring the change of the capacitance C1, C2 between a moving part/mass and fixed plates. So when acceleration is applied in a particular direction it can be detected and measured.

Image is adapted from engineerguy YouTube channel

The amazing “How a smartphone knows up from down” video presented by Bill Hammack (engineerguy) can demonstrate in a clear way the principle of MEMS.

Last but not least, MEMS has applications in medical and health related technologies like Lab-On-Chip. LOCs can integrate a laboratory function in a single chip. So MEMS may not only solve technical problems, but they may also play an important role in solving problems in human health field.

“Genotyper” device. via NIAID

Tiny motion sensor fits wearable devices


by Susan Nordyk @ edn.com:

Bosch Sensortec’s BMX160 is a 9-axis motion sensor touted as the smallest in the industry for wearable and augmented/virtual-reality devices. The miniature device is housed in a 2.5×3.0×0.95-mm, 14-pin LGA package, small enough for smartphones, smart watches, fitness trackers, and even smart eyewear and jewelry.

Combining an accelerometer, gyroscope, and geomagnetic sensor, the BMX160 meets the increasingly more stringent low-power requirements required by wearable devices. The BMX160 reduces power consumption to below 1.5 mA and effectively replaces the mainstream two-component design, which employs a 6-axis inertial measurement unit and a 3-axis geomagnetic sensor.

Tiny motion sensor fits wearable devices – [Link]

LSM6DSL – 3D accelerometer and 3D gyroscope


Two low-power 6-axis inertial modules introduced from STMicroelectronics, the LSM6DSL and LSM6DSM. Both they pack a 3-D digital accelerometer and a 3-D digital gyroscope in a miniature package. These modules consume 0.4 mA in combo normal mode and 0.65 mA in combo high-performance mode, cutting power consumption by as much as 50% over their current predecessors. The LSM6DSL has a full-scale acceleration range of ±2/±4/±8/±16 g and an angular rate range of ±125/±245/±500/±1000/±2000 dps.

LSM6DSL – 3D accelerometer and 3D gyroscope – [Link]

Intel and Banzi presented Arduino 101 and Genuino 101


by Zoe Romano @ blog.arduino.cc:

Today during Opening Conference at Maker Faire Rome, Josh Walden Senior Vice President of Intel Corporation and Massimo Banzi, co-founder of Arduino, announced the upcoming release of Arduino 101 (U.S.) and Genuino 101 (outside the U.S.). The board features a 32-bit Intel® Quark™ microcontroller for minimal power consumption, 384 kB of flash memory, 80 kB of SRAM (24kB available for sketches), an integrated DSP sensor hub, Bluetooth* Low Energy radio, and 6-axis combo sensor with accelerometer and gyroscope.

We collaborated with Intel to provide the maker community an affordable learning and development board ideal for entry-level makers and education environments and also the first widely available development board based on the tiny, low-power Intel Curie module.

Intel and Banzi presented Arduino 101 and Genuino 101 – [Link]

9-axis motion sensor and MCU reside in tiny package


by Susan Nordyk:

Housed in a 5.2×3.8×1.1-mm package, Bosch Sensortec’s BMF055 9-aix sensor combines an accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer with a 32-bit MCU to enable easy programming and customization. It can be used by designers creating advanced application-specific sensor fusion algorithms for robotics, gaming, remote controls, navigation systems, drones, and human interface devices for IoT projects.

The BMF055 system-in-package integrates a triaxial 14-bit accelerometer, a triaxial 16-bit gyroscope with a range of ±2000 degrees per second, and a triaxial geomagnetic sensor. Based on a 32-bit ARM Cortex M0+ core running at up to 48 MHz, the Atmel SAM D20 microcontroller employed by the BMF055 provides in-system programmable flash memory and a rich set of peripherals and interfaces.

9-axis motion sensor and MCU reside in tiny package – [Link]

Arduino Watch With Altitude, Temperature, Compass And Pedometer


by benhur.goncalves @ instructables.com:

Hi folks! Last few days I’ve been obsessed with the idea to make my own watch from arduino parts, but something cool I could use and say I did it myself. So I found out there was a sensor board (commonly named GY-87) which had three sensors on it: HMC5883L (compass), BMP085 (pressure, altitude, temperature) and MPU6050 (accelerometer and gyroscope). With it, via I2C, I could add an Arduino Pro Mini, and an I2C Oled Display and make a watch capable of having all this information, plus a pedometer (by analysing accelerometer data).

Arduino Watch With Altitude, Temperature, Compass And Pedometer – [Link]