Enables New Level of Motion-Sensing Applications on Smart Consumer Devices
By Nick Flaherty www.flaherty.co.uk
STMicroelectronics has unveiled the first details of its new iNEMO sensor engine.
The advanced filtering and predictive software engine integrates the outputs from a 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope and 3-axis magnetometer. Fusing these sensors’ data, the iNEMO delivers dramatically more accurate and reliable sensor performance for next-generation smart consumer devices for a host of new motion-based applications.
For many current applications, such as freefall detection, screen rotation or pedometers, a single MEMS accelerometer meets their system requirements. However, a new class of advanced applications is emerging, for example: location-based services, enhanced motion-based gaming, pedestrian dead-reckoning for indoor and multi-floor navigation, robotics or human-body tracking. These applications require multiple MEMS sensors, together with advanced software, to achieve better overall system performance in terms of accuracy, resolution, stability and response time.
“The iNEMO Engine delivers a quantum leap in the performance level required by next-generation smart mobile devices to enable a myriad of new exciting applications,” said Benedetto Vigna, Group Vice President and General Manager of ST’s MEMS, Sensors and High Performance Analog Division “It also lifts the burden of complex sensor algorithm development off the shoulders of our customers.”
The iNEMO Engine software integrates a set of highly sophisticated adaptive algorithms for prediction and filtering. The software takes data from the outputs of various motion sensors in smart consumer devices and integrates it so that the sensor outputs augment each other, leapfrogging what individual sensors can do alone. The software can correct for magnetic distortions registered on the magnetometer, dynamic distortion measured by the accelerometer, and inherent drift over time of the gyroscope. This protects the accuracy of heading information, removes pointing inaccuracies and drift problems, and virtually eliminates timeouts for calibration.
The iNEMO Engine is available now to major consumer manufacturers, upon request via the usual ST sales channels, for integration into leading mobile platforms in a two-chip sensor solution (LSM303DLHx e-compass and the L3G4200D gyroscope). Advanced new mobile devices using ST’s iNEMO Engine multi-axis sensors are expected to be in production at leading consumer manufacturers before the end of the year.
In addition, ST’s has a wide range of highly accurate MEMS sensors available for the iNEMO Engine. These sensors include accelerometers to measure linear acceleration and earth gravity, gyroscopes to measure angular velocity, and magnetic sensors that output reliable heading information.