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Geo-Magnetic Module Targets Portable Device Apps

Mon, 05/02/2011 - 8:36am
STMicroelectronics, a leading supplier of MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) for consumer and portable applications, is set to accelerate the deployment of high-precision mobile compassing with the introduction of its newest geo-magnetic module.

Housed inside a miniature 3 x 5 x 1 mm package with operating current consumption down to just 110 microamps, ST’s LSM303DLHC meets the size and power constraints of portable consumer applications with outstanding accuracy and performance.

The integration of high-performance motion and magnetic2 sensing, coupled with superior stability over time and temperature, makes ST’s newest digital-compass device particularly suitable for applications such as location-based services, pedestrian dead reckoning, map/display orientation, and direction finding. IHS iSuppli, a leading market research firm, expects the digital compass market to grow at a CAGR of 25%, from $208 million in 2010 up to $638 million in 2015.

The LSM303DLHC module provides extremely accurate output across full-scale extended ranges up to ±16g (linear acceleration) and ±8 Gauss3 (magnetic field), boasting a 60% increase in magnetic sensing resolution (2 mGauss) and a 40% reduction in size over devices currently in production. The device embeds a temperature sensor and a programmable FIFO (first-in first-out) memory block. Advanced features include 4D/6D orientation detection and two programmable interrupt signals that enable immediate notification of motion detection, click/double-click events, and other conditions.

ST’s newest geo-magnetic module addresses energy efficiency on chip and at the system level with embedded application layers, FIFO blocks, and smart sleep-to-wake-up functionality. With an operating power consumption of just 110 microamps, the device represents a 70% reduction over the recently announced LSM303DLM module, and works with any supply voltage in the range of 2.16 to 3.6V.

ST’s LSM303DLHC geo-magnetic module will be available in Q3 2011. Unit pricing is $2.10 for volumes in the range of 100,000 pieces.

For further information on ST’s complete MEMS portfolio see www.st.com/mems.
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