MEMS accelerometers can add interactive features to consumer devices, such as automatic shifting from portrait to landscape mode as well as scrolling by tilting the display. Smart phones, GPS devices, laptop computers and game controllers are among the consumer devices now packing MEMS sensors, which are also being designed into a widening array of medical and scientific equipment. Ever slimmer accelerometer chip form factors are encouraging ever slimmer consumer devices, today and going forward. R.C.J.
STMicroelectronics has fielded a 0.75-mm-thick three-axis microlectromechanical system (MEMS)-based accelerometer that it says will let even ultrathin consumer platforms offer advanced user interface features. The LIS302DLH is the thinnest member of ST's Piccolo family of ultrasmall 16-bit MEMS chips, which are housed in 3 x 5-mm packages. ST said its digital three-axis accelerometer offers built-in motion sensing, orientation awareness, freefall detection and vibration monitoring. The device has a power-saving shutdown mode that awakens it automatically when motion is sensed. Acceleration measurements range from +8 to –8 g's. The LIS302DLH uses an SPI serial interface.