November 12, 2008: Freescale Semiconductor has introduced a family of inertial sensors designed to enhance the performance, sensitivity and reliability of next-generation automotive airbag systems. Freescale’s new medium- and high-acceleration (medium-g and high-g) accelerometers are engineered to detect a crash by measuring the abrupt deceleration of a vehicle and then triggering airbag deployment.
Freescale’s MMA6222EG, MMA6255EG and MMA621010EG inertial sensors are based on next-generation high aspect ratio micro-electromechanical systems (HARMEMS) technology, a proven technology for airbag sensing applications. The accelerometers’ advanced transducer design enhances sensor offset performance and over-damping response, which helps improve system reliability and resistance to high-frequency and high-amplitude parasitic vibrations. The devices are designed to help distinguish airbag system conditions that might trigger a false deployment, such as a door slam or high vibrations during vehicle assembly.
The MMA62xxEG inertial sensors accommodate 3.3V and 5V supply voltage and offer developers the flexibility to use digital or analog outputs. The sensors also support bi-directional self-test and feature a serial peripheral interface (SPI) bus for enhanced monitoring capabilities.
“Safety system sensors follow powertrain as the second largest sensor category in terms of market value, and safety sensor growth remains strong,” said Mark Fitzgerald, an analyst at Strategy Analytics, in a statement. “Sensing for airbag systems is the largest application for automotive safety sensors in both unit volume and market value, and suppliers that offer competitively priced, reliable and high-performance inertial sensor solutions are well positioned in this market.”
“Freescale’s standard and customer-specific inertial sensors offer exceptional integration and system scalability as developers continue to cluster safety systems, while maintaining a commitment to zero-defect quality,” said Demetre Kondylis, vice president and general manager of Freescale’s Sensor & Actuator Solutions Division.