Movement/position sensor for mobiles and wearables

13th January 2014
Nat Bowers

Comprised of a 3-axis accelerometer, a 3-axis gyroscope and a 3-axis magnetometer, the LSM9DS1 is STMicroelectronics' most advanced module for 9-axis movement and position sensing in next-generation mobiles and tiny wearable devices. The sensors are integrated and synchronised to provide true 9-degree-of-freedom sensing, detecting linear acceleration, angular rate and magnetic field to provide complete position- and movement-sensing data.

The LSM9DS1 supports the context awareness needed for features such as gesture controls, indoor navigation, and augmented reality, while greater positional resolution enhances the stability and precision of applications such as smart-TV remotes, game controllers, and wearable sports or medical sensors. Built using ST’s latest low-noise sensor technology, the LSM9DS1 has a typical operating current of just 2mA. Coupled with dimensions of 3.5x3x1mm, the 9-axis sensor module enhances the usability and comfort of wearable devices by reducing bulk and extending battery life between charges. Extra-smart power management is enabled with each sensor capable of being powered-down individually with automatic wake-up.

It is easy to add magnetic-field detection (for functions such as e-compass and orientation sensing) to existing designs. Since the LSM9DS1 is compatible with ST’s LSM6 family of 6-axis IMUs, product developers can simply upscale current designs. The MEMS sensor saves over 5mm2 of PCB space compared to earlier 9-axis sensor modules in the 4x4mm LGA package. This makes it particularly suitable for designers seeking to add extra functionality in smartphones or create innovative new products in comfortable, wearable form factors, including glasses.

Operating over a temperature range from -40 to +85°C, the 9-axis module also provides 30% higher magnetometer resolution, 20% lower overall power consumption, a significant reduction in accelerometer zero-g offset (to below100 milli-g), and reduced typical gyroscope rate noise to 0.008dps/√Hz at low full-scale.

“This tiny, high-performance 9-axis module leverages our latest MEMS technology to enable a wide variety of position-sensing and movement-tracking applications in next-generation mobile and wearable devices. With 30% higher magnetometer resolution, 20% lower power and a footprint more than one-third smaller than other devices, designers have extra freedom to establish new form factors and improve stability and performance,” comments Benedetto Vigna, Executive Vice President and General Manager Analog, MEMS & Sensors Group, STMicroelectronics.

Engineering samples of the LSM9DS1 are available now, in the 3.5x3mm LGA leadless package.

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