New motion sensor from STMicroelectronics enhances user interface and image stabilization in smartphones and tablets

STMicroelectronics, a global semiconductor company, and a manufacturer and supplier of MEMS for consumer and mobile applications, has introduced a six-axis motion-sensing device fully supporting image stabilization in smartphones, tablets, and digital still cameras. The latest addition to ST’s iNEMO (TM) range of inertial motion sensors, the LSM6DS3H combines a 3-axis gyroscope, a 3-axis accelerometer, and an ultra-low-power processing circuit in a System-in-Package solution that offers the industry’s lowest power consumption and smallest package size.

Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) and Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) techniques help minimize image blurring caused by camera motion while the snapshot is being captured. Initially developed for professional cameras, these techniques are being increasingly deployed in smartphones and tablets, where blurring is most likely to occur when the user takes a photograph with an outstretched arm.

Key technical features of the LSM6DS3H include:

  • Ultra-low power consumption of the motion sensors (0.85mA in normal mode, 0.4mA in low power mode), allowing the gyroscope to be “always on”;
  • Accelerometer power consumption in low-power mode down to 10 uA, 60% less compared with the previous-generation 6-axis module (LSM6DS3);
  • Supports both EIS and OIS applications with a choice of I2C or SPI for the primary interface and a dedicated auxiliary SPI interface to the camera module;
  • Compact package measuring 2.5mm X 3mm X 0.83mm;
  • Accelerometer ODR (Output Data Rate) up to 6.66 kHz, Gyroscope ODR up to 3.33kHz;
  • Smart FIFO for dynamic data batching and smarter power management: 4kbyte FIFO + 4kbyte flexible (FIFO or programmable);
  • Full-scale acceleration range +/- 2 / +/- 4 / +/- 8 / +/- 16g;
  • Full-scale angular rate range +/- 125 / +/- 245 / +/- 500 / +/- 1000 / +/- 2000 dps;
  • Supply voltage from 1.71 to 3.6V, independent IOs supply down to 1.62V;
  • SPI/I2C serial interface data synchronization feature;
  • Embedded temperature sensor.

‚ÄúVery often people use the phone camera with outstretched arms, which can degrade the image quality,” said Andrea Onetti, General Manager, Volume MEMS and Analog Division, STMicroelectronics. “Our new multi-function motion sensor sets to minimize blurring in any photo situation while extending battery life because of the ultra-low power consumption.”

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