Tuesday, April 23, 2024

What is new in sensors over the last 12 months

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Airbag Crash Sensors

author1STMicroelectronics has introduced two central airbag crash sensors to expand its portfolio of crash sensors, airbag system ICs, and safety microcontrollers, creating a complete airbag-electronics kit that supports the most stringent automotive-application and functional-safety requirements. The AIS1120SX and AIS2120SX single- and dual-axis 120g in-plane MEMS accelerometers are designed to be mounted in the vehicle’s Airbag Control Unit (ACU) and are responsible for evaluating the sensor data and triggering the appropriate restraint system.

Airbag system producers can now satisfy the complete system functional requirements by teaming the new AIS1120SX or AIS2120SX central crash sensors with peripheral accelerometers like ST’s AIS1200PS that are installed on structures such as bumpers and door pillars. The sensors interact with an airbag system IC and a safety microcontroller, which coordinate airbag activation.

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Industrial MEMS with 10-year longevity commitment

MEMS & Sensors are largely driven by the Consumer & Mobile and Automotive segments. In consumer applications, short product generations lead to frequent requirement changes whereas Automotive sensors have long lifecycles and strict performance requirements. In Industrial applications, such as Appliances and Automation, high performance, high quality, extended temperature range, shock and vibration protection are dominant.

ST has recently launched a new series of MEMS sensors that will stay in production for ten years starting from their date of introduction. These products take part in the 10-year longevity commitment program that assures, on selected parts, continuity and stability of supply for ST customers, especially those that design industrial applications and require long-term product availability.

The first three sensors joining the program are two new 3-axis accelerometers (IIS328DQ and IIS2DH) and a 3-axis gyroscope (I3G4250D) specifically intended for harsh industrial environments often characterized by extended temperature ranges and a high level of shock and vibration.

Low power High-g MEMS accelerometers

ST has introduced the world’s first 3-axis, low-power, digital accelerometer to enable a number of new industrial, healthcare, sport and consumer applications and is now offering an entire family of high-g devices tailored to the needs of specific applications. H3LIS sensors deliver precise shock detection in space- and power-constrained applications such as wireless nodes for industrial-equipment condition monitoring; wireless vibration monitoring; shock detection in tools, equipment, and portable instrumentation; car black boxes; parcel monitoring; concussion detection in sports; blast detection for soldiers and firefighters; and sensors for augmented sports.

Smart Sensor

Traditional sensors provide the raw sensor data that the microcontroller uses process and calculate information such as activity recognition. This system approach is more focused on performance and less on power, as it leads to using the Microcontroller to gather and process sensor data. The new generation of ST smart accelerometer, to minimize power consumption for portable devices and wearable apps, provides an alternative approach. New high-performance sensors, such as used on the accelerometer LIS2DS12 and Inertial Measurement Unit LSM6DS3 and LSM6DS3H use a dedicated internal-engine architecture to process motion and acceleration detection including free-fall, wakeup, single and double-tap detection, activity/inactivity, portrait and landscape detection, step-count detection and significant motion detection, internally. This allows applications to extend battery life as sensor data can now be processed inside the sensor itself.

Smart LSM6DS3/LSM6DS3H Inertial Measurement Units integrate the accelerometer and gyroscope. These sensors come with inbuilt pedometer and activity recognition and the LSM6DS3H also provides auxiliary SPI to connect an external sensor for electronic and optical image stabilization applications. A smart FIFO can store up to 8K of data within the sensor itself so the sensor can batch communication and further reduce systempower consumption.

The high-performance sensor, combined with all these embedded features, allows superior system performance and incredible power saving.

UV Sensor

Exposure to ultraviolet radiation is a major cause of cancer around the world. So it is important to measure the quality and quantity of UV exposure. The UVIS25 is a digital UV-index sensor that can provide accurate measurements of ultraviolet radiation index (UVI) from sunlight. The sensor includes both the sensing element and a mixed-signal ASIC to process the UV index data and send it through I2C and SPI interfaces. A dedicated technology has been developed to achieve excellent accuracy for UV index measurements. The UVIS25 allows the measurement of the UV index without needing a dedicated algorithm to calculate the UV Index and without specific calibrations at the customer manufacturing line. The device can be configured to generate interrupts based on crossing a threshold or when it generates a new set of data. The sensor can be used in variety of products such as smart watch, mobile phone, umbrella, glasses, clothes.


High Performance, Low Power: Since Drones are real-time objects, timing accuracy is critical. The connected sensors produce a lot of real-time data that must be processed in real time and acted upon by the drone — balancing, tilt, turns etc. – to ensure the drone doesn’t crash. A high-performance MCU is important for flight operation. Drone MCUs also need for to be energy efficient, as they are battery operated.


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