STMicroelectronics, a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, has revealed the latest generation of its highly miniaturized 6-axis MEMS inertial modules with ultra-low-power design that strengthen the smartphone's emerging role as an "always-on" personal assistant and enhance user experiences for digital cameras, wearables and remote controls, game consoles, drones, and virtual reality.
Continuous context sensing enables smartphones and other applications to respond instantly and intelligently to the user's needs, but demands ultra-low-power sensors to maximize battery life.
ST's new LSM6DSL and LSM6DSM, with innovative power management, enhanced gyroscope design, and energy-efficient data batching, cut power consumption by as much as 50% over the current state-of-the-art LSM6DS3 and LSM6DS3H devices. Compliance with the most popular and innovative operating systems helps developers maximize the value of the personalization and power-saving features of popular mobile platforms.
In addition, the latest sensors boost gyroscope accuracy to support enhanced user experiences such as Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), visual localization detection, and gesture recognition, while the accelerometer-driven step detection, step counting and pedometer, as well as tilt and significant-motion detection are also integrated to make life easier for handset and application developers.
"We have shipped over 100 million units of our current generation of MEMS inertial modules to customers who include leading smartphone and consumer brands. The new-generation products build on this success, with energy efficiency that delivers up to 50% more performance," said Andrea Onetti, Group VP and General Manager, Volume MEMS and Analog Division, STMicroelectronics. "The new modules' high accuracy and integration will also help designers develop more advanced user experiences in devices such as digital cameras, wearables and remote controls, game consoles, drones, and virtual reality."
Of the two new modules, the LSM6DSM has a dedicated additional processing and serial port for camera OIS. The gyroscope has 40% lower noise and a configurable filter that together boost camera-OIS performance from the current-generation device (LSM6DS3H). Compared to solutions that use a discrete OIS sensor, the LSM6DSM not only saves component count and board space, but consumes less than 1/6 the power of the alternative designs.
The new devices will be available from Q2 2016, as 14-lead LGA modules that are pin-and-footprint compatible with the LSM6DS3/H. Prices for orders of 1,000 pieces are $1.99 for the LSM6DSL, and $2.50 for the LSM6DSM with dedicated OIS output.
Key technical specifications:
- 3-axis MEMS accelerometer: full-scale range ±2/±4/±8/±16 g
- 3-axis MEMS gyroscope: full-scale range ±125/±245/±500/±1000/±2000 dps
- Operating current: 0.4 mA (combo normal mode); 0.65mA (combo high-performance mode)
- 2.5mm x 3.0mm x 0.83mm LGA-14 package
- Analog supply-voltage range: 1.71V to 3.6V
- Smart FIFO with batch acquisition, up to 4KB
- Hard, soft iron for external magnetic sensor corrections
 3-axis accelerometer + 3-axis gyroscope combos