2 October 2002
1st-ever MEMS integrated gyroscope unveiled
Norwood, Mass. – Microelectro-mechanical systems (MEMS) pioneer Analog Devices Inc. (AD) has introduced a MEMS-based gyroscope – the first commercially available device to integrate both an angular rate sensor and signal processing electronics onto a single piece of silicon.
Franklin Weigold, general manager of AD's Micromachined Products Division, said that, by integrating the sensor structure and all necessary signal conditioning circuitry onto a single integrated circuit, AD's iMEMS ADXRS gyro is smaller, more accurate, more reliable, and more economical than other angular rate sensors in its class.
The ADXRS gyro is mounted inside a small 7 millimeter x 7 millimeter x 3 millimeter ball grid array (BGA) package, and consumes only 5 milliamps of current at 5 volts. This technological achievement was made possible by AD's iMEMS (integrated Micro Electro Mechanical System) surface micromachining process – the same process used to manufacture over 100 million accelerometers since 1993.
Gyroscopes, which measure the rate at which objects rotate, can be used to trigger automobile airbags during rollover, improve the accuracy and reliability of global positioning system (GPS) navigation systems, and stabilize moving platforms such as automobiles, airplanes, robots, antennas, and industrial equipment.
"Analog Devices' ADXRS gyro has a very low noise output which enables us to use it in many applications to augment GPS receivers where critical location information is required during temporary disruptions of GPS signals," said Michael S. Perlmutter, executive vice president of Canton, Mass.-based Fibersense Technology, a specialist in advanced inertial navigation and stabilization technology.
"In our product designs, reliability is critical and immunity to shock and vibration is a must. Competitive solutions were not able to match Analog Devices in terms of size, performance or reputation for MEMS reliability," he said.
"Using the iMEMS process, we can offer our customers a roadmap that will provide high quality, high performance gyros for as little as $10," Weigold said. The ADXRS gyro is offered in two versions. The ADXRS300 provides dynamic range of 300 degrees/second, and the ADXRS150 provides dynamic range of 150 degrees/second. Both are priced at $30 per unit in thousand piece quantities.
Patented design techniques provide immunity to shock and vibration, a capability important in applications such as automotive rollover detection, where a rollover event must be accurately detected while the vehicle is experiencing shocks and vibrations induced by collisions with other objects and off-pavement surfaces.
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