Motorola announces family of low-acceleration sensors

Phoenix, AZ - Motorola Inc.'s Semiconductor Products Sector is now offering a range of low-gravity (g)inertial sensors (also called accelerometers), ranging from 1.5g to 8g.


Phoenix, AZ - Motorola Inc.'s Semiconductor Products Sector is now offering a range of low-gravity (g) inertial sensors (also called accelerometers), ranging from 1.5g to 8g.

Low-g inertial sensor ICs, are designed for end products or embedded systems that require measurement of small forces resulting from shock, vibration, tilt, movement, or acceleration. Sensing capabilities derive from MEMS (micro-electromechanical systems) technology, which is inherent in micron-sized mechanical devices that can sense, process and/or control the surrounding environment. This technology gives low-g accelerometers the capability to sense very small changes in movements relative to a particular reference point.

From washing machines, sports medicine equipment, and video game pads to seismic detectors, security systems, and automobile rollover detection systems, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are using low-g accelerometers to differentiate their products with safety, security, and convenience features. Reflecting the potential of this technology, In-Stat/MDR predicts that worldwide revenues for MEMS will grow from $3.9 billion in 2001 to $9.6 billion in 2006.

''The growth of sensors parallels the growth of microcontrollers, which need sensors to deliver critical information,'' said Marlene Bourne, Senior Analyst, In-Stat/MDR. ''The low-g sensor market in particular is booming due to their usefulness in gaming devices, touch pads, and crash detection systems. By offering a family of low-g accelerometers with such a wide range of measurement capabilities, Motorola is well-positioned to meet a real market need.''

''As the applications for sensors continue to expand, manufacturers need a broader range of choices to meet new price and performance requirements,'' said Brett Richmond, vice president and general manager of Motorola's Sensor Products Division. ''More than two decades of sensors experience have been brought to bear in expanding our line of accelerometers. Today's announcement underscores our commitment to provide a full range of sensor products to customers developing a wide variety of applications.''

Industrial applications include vibration measurement, bearing wear monitoring, seismic detectors, seismic switches, inclinometers, robotics, security alarms, and security enhancement equipment.

Each of Motorola's low-g sensors includes signal conditioning, temperature compensation, and zero-g offset with a sensitivity of 1200 millivolts per unit of gravity (mV/g) in addition to the following:

  • X and Y-axis sensitivity for differentiating between movements along the horizontal and vertical axes;

  • Z-axis sensing on horizontal printed circuit boards enables full-scale span;

  • 3-D sensing for measuring all possible surrounding points and movements;

  • Self-test capability allows the verification of the mechanical and electrical integrity of the accelerometer at any time before or after installation;

  • Small profile packages-16-pin SOIC package for size-constrained end products or embedded systems.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Gary A. Mintchell, senior editor

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