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Industry-Unique Sensors from STMicroelectronics Enable High-Shock Detection in Black Boxes and Hockey Helmets

ST's new low-power accelerometer senses shocks up to 400g in 3D

Geneva /

STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications and the leading supplier of MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) for consumer and portable applications 1, today unveiled the world’s first motion sensor that measures very high accelerations along all three axes at ultra-low current consumption. ST’s H3LIS331D accelerometers address the need for precise shock detection up to 400 g2 in space- and power-constrained applications, from car black boxes to medical monitoring devices and sports equipment.

There is a need to detect and measure high-g shocks in a broad range of applications. Whereas existing high-g shock-detection solutions are mostly based on single- or dual-axis, power-hungry ‘airbag-type’ sensors, ST’s new high-g accelerometers deliver both the three-dimensional precision and ultra-low current consumption optimized for battery-operated applications.

Power-stingy, precise high-shock detection devices open new possibilities for portable medical instrumentation and concussion monitoring in high-impact sports like ice hockey, American football or car racing. ST’s high-g sensors can also significantly improve crash-detection capabilities in event data recorders (black boxes) and freight monitoring systems, as well as enhance anti-shock protection functionality in consumer electronics.

ST’s high-g accelerometers provide three-axis motion sensing across selectable from ±100 g up to ±400 g full-scale ranges, and boast excellent stability over time and temperature. An on-chip IC interface converts the acceleration data into a 12-bit digital bit stream that is transmitted with high reliability to a dedicated microcontroller chip through a standard SPI or I2C protocol.

The H3LIS331DL combines a novel sensing-structure design with the market-proven low-power interface of ST’s LIS331DLx acceleration sensors, the industry-standard devices that have shipped in several hundred million units to date.

Samples of ST’s high-g accelerometers are available and volume production is expected to start by the end of Q2 2012. Unit pricing is $5 for volumes in the range of 1,000 pieces. Further pricing options are available for larger quantities.

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About STMicroelectronics
ST is a global leader in the semiconductor market serving customers across the spectrum of sense and power technologies and multimedia convergence applications. From energy management and savings to trust and data security, from healthcare and wellness to smart consumer devices, in the home, car and office, at work and at play, ST is found everywhere microelectronics make a positive and innovative contribution to people's life. By getting more from technology to get more from life, ST stands for life.augmented.
In 2011, the Company’s net revenues were $9.73 billion. Further information on ST can be found at www.st.com.

 

1 IHS iSuppli: H2 2011 Consumer and Mobile MEMS Market Tracker, February 2012
2 Humans can tolerate localized forces in hundreds of g for a split second; however, sustained forces above ~10 g can be deadly or lead to permanent injury

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