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Date: 03-12-13

Ultra compact 6-axis motion sensor with industry-lowest power requirement

STMicroelectronics said its new family of always-on 6-axis inertial motion sensors offers industry-lowest power requirements, ultra-compact packaging and unprecedented design flexibility. This new motion-sensing device that can run all sensor-related functions as well as customer-specific application software onboard while consuming up to 40% less power than existing solutions, claims ST.

ST’s new 6-axis sensors helps smart phone designers to add features such as taking 360-degree panoramic photos simply by slowly rotating mobile phone or scrolling through maps with a sweep of the arm and many such motion based actions.

This device from ST packs motion sensors with ARM Cortex microprocessor core. ST says 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, as per ST.

“If you go for a long run, you need your portable device to accurately track the whole route, without running out of power midway. The new ST sensors help avoid such mishaps by significantly reducing power consumption,” said Benedetto Vigna, Executive Vice President and General Manager Analog, MEMS & Sensors Group, STMicroelectronics. “Our new iNEMO product is the market’s ‘brainiest’ 6-axis motion-sensing device that can run all sensor-related software on-chip within previously unattainable power budgets. As a family, these new sensors offer greater convenience and value while showcasing ST’s emphasis on delivering outstanding innovation and quality and benefiting from our experience in shipping hundreds of millions of inertial measurement units (IMUs).”

ST’s new 6-axis inertial motion sensors -- LSM6DB0, LSM6DS1, and LSM6DS0 – are sampling now, with volume production scheduled for first half of 2014.

Technical details as provided by ST:
The sensors’ industry-best performance is the result of true 6-axis sensing, where both the 3-axis accelerometer and 3-axis gyroscope are manufactured on the same chip. They operate synchronously at the same output data rate, fusing correlated, true six-degree-of-freedom motion and not just separate acceleration and angular-rate inputs. This implements state-of-the-art motion tracking; efficient and reliable contextual awareness; a low-power, accurate pedometer; precise orientation; and heading on any portable device. ST’s innovation also drives accelerometer zero-g offset down by an order of magnitude to a maximum of 100mg and gyroscope rate noise down to 0.008 dps / √Hz typical at low full-scale. Moreover, the power-efficient sensors consume less than 2mA and come in ultra-compact 3x3x0.8mm (LSM6DS0, LSM6DS1) or 3x3x1mm (LSM6DB0) packages.

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 already 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 ideal 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.

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