MEMS and Sensors Enrich User Experience in all Application Segments

Sensors are now used widely, from typical mobile phones and tablets to an endless list of devices, limited only by what humans can imagine. From home to office, human to robot, sports monitoring to athlete performance improvement, machine vibration detection to factory preventive maintenance, asset tracking to inventory control, surgery to rehab. Where humans can dream, sensors can be put to use.


A recent startup company’s inspiring news release announced that they are using gyroscope technology to reduce hand tremors in patients suffering with Parkinson’s disease.  Patients can wear a glove embedded with the gyroscope which monitors shaking and a motor is used to counterbalance the motion.  With steady hands, patients can stay independent longer and live with dignity.  Although the device is still being tested, advancements in reduction of sensor size, power consumption, noise, and cost allow for life changing possibilities.

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More applications with sensors that can be used are listed below as examples:

Sensor Type

ST Solutions

AXL: accelerometer


GYRO: gyroscope

L3GD20HTR, I3G4250DTR, A3G4250DTR

AXL+GRYO: Module


MAG: magnetometer


RH: relative humidity sensor


TS: temperature sensor


PS: pressure sensor


MIC: MEMS microphone


Sensors for industrial applications

• Robotics and automation (AXL, GYRO, MIC)
• Inertial navigation and wheel encoder position accuracy
• Self-balancing robots
• Condition monitoring of transportation and industrial equipment (high-g AXL, RH, TS)
• Vibration and rotational speed monitoring
• Asset and parcel tracking and monitoring (High-g AXL, GYRO, TS)
• Shock detection and logging
• Building and structure monitoring (AXL, MIC)
• Vibration and tilt monitoring
• Seismic exploration and geophones (AXL)
• Vibration monitoring
• Drills (AXL, GYRO)
• Safety and chuck rotation monitoring
• Tilt detection Home

Sensors for home usages

• Home alarm systems and car garages (AXL, MIC)
• Vibration and shock detection
• Detection of door open/close position
• White goods (AXL, GYRO, PS, RH, TS, MIC)
• Control of basket rotation (washing machines)
• Power consumption optimization
• Vibration detection for noise reduction and maintenance
• Detection of door open/close position
• Fluid column pressure measurement
• Smart home automation control (TS, RH, MIC)
• Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC)
• Relative humidity level monitoring and weather stations
• Incubators, refrigerator crispers and storage
• Respiratory equipment/humidifiers
• Electric, gas/water meters (AXL)
• Tilting, vibration and shock detection
• Anti-tamper mechanisms
• Home environment monitoring (TS, RH, MIC)
• Ambient temperature and relative humidity monitoring

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Sensors for fitness and wellness

• Athlete performance monitoring
• Movement recognition through shoes and wearable sensors (AXL, GYRO, MIC)
• Golf and tennis swing detection (AXL, GYRO, MAG)
• Body tracking recognition (AXL, GYRO, MAG)
• Watches, personal navigation devices (PND) and pedometers (AXL, GYRO, MAG, PS,MIC)
• Map orientation
• Heading and navigation
• Power-saving using auto-wake-up functionality
• Taps (display activation)
• Treadmills and barbells (AXL, MIC)
• Tilting angle and shock detection during steps

Sensors for portable consumer devices

• Smartphones and tablets (AXL, GYRO, MAG, PS, RH*, MIC)
• Motion tracking for gesture based user interfaces
• Electronic compasses
• Location-based services
• Heading and navigation
• Relative humidity sensing
• Gaming devices (AXL, GYRO, MAG, MIC)
• Accurate detection of orientation and angular rate
• Remote control (AXL, GYRO, MAG)
• Gesture recognition and pointing (3D mouse)
• Notebooks and tablets (AXL, GYRO, MAG, TS, MIC)
• Sensor hub
• Hard-disk protection
• Lid closure
• Orientation
• Cameras (DSC/DVD) (AXL, GYRO, MIC)
• OIS and user interfaces

Sensors for health care

• Implantable medical devices (AXL)
• Pacemakers, defibrillators and neuro-stimulators
• Concussion detection in sports (high g AXL)
• Helmets, patches and mouth guards
• Motion detection and body motion reconstruction (AXL, GYRO, MAG, PS, MIC)
• Man-down and personal emergency response systems (PERS)
• Rehabilitation and training
• Improved straight line motion and tilt detection for safety
• Instrument guidance in surgery (AXL, GYRO)
• Healthcare mobility aids including wheelchairs and scooters (AXL, GYRO, PS, MIC)

STMicroelectronics Broad Range Sensor Portfolio Industrial sensors have 10 year longevity commitment

STMicroelectronics has shipped more than 10 billion micro-electromechanical sensors and has one of the industry’s most extensive MEMS portfolio including accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, MEMS microphone, pressure, humidity, temperature, and UV sensors. These sensors rely on dedicated mechanical or sensing structures that guarantee the best performance even in challenging environmental conditions.

Our industrial and automotive sensors offer even higher performance and higher quality required for us in industrial applications including robotics, condition monitoring, industrial vehicle guidance and stabilization, power tools, building and industrial automation, navigation, medical and defense systems.  Thanks to STMicroelectronics’s “Golden Flow” specifications for manufacturing, each sensor is uniquely and precisely factory regulated, resulting in highly stable outputs under all conditions and in most cases eliminating the need of re-calibration at the consumer site.  Moreover, as a result of a robust and highly selective testing flow, our sensor offer for these applications guarantees high performance, accuracy, reliability, and safety as well as improves the total cost of ownership of the final application.

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STM32 Nucleo Open, Flexible, Easy Development Tool

The STM32 Open Development Environment (STM32 ODE) provides ways to develop innovative devices and applications based on the STM32 32-bit microcontroller family combined with state-of-the-art ST components connected via expansion boards. It enables fast prototyping with leading-edge components that can quickly be transformed into final designs.

The Open Software Expansion development suite offers drivers, middleware and application software to jump start your STM32 design with ST products like MEMS, Bluetooth low energy, sensors, etc. It comes with demo ready application examples.  Advance software algorithm such as iNEMO Engine Pro sensor fusion can be incorporated in design with licensing wizard tool.

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Article provided by STMicroelectronics


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