Frank Melzer, Bosch Sensortec CEO, announces today the integration into a single inexpensive 3.5-by-4.5 millimeter package a combo accelerometer + gyroscope chip at the MEMS Business Forum in Santa Clara, Calif. Bosch hopes that its manufacturing muscle will persuade mass market smartphone and tablet makers to adopt its six-axis combo inertial measurement unit (IMU) to save board space. Invensense already has a complete nine-axis inertial navigation unit (INU) that includes a AKM magnetometer along with its own six-axis combo chip with accelerometer+ gyro (IMU). However, mainstream smartphone and tablets like Apple's iPhone and iPad still use a separate AKM magnetometer along with separate accelerometer and gyroscope chips coming from volume manufacturer STMicroelectronics: R. Colin Johnson
Bosch 3D chip stack wire bonds its MEMS die with an ASIC holding electronics into a single package.
Here is what EETimes says about IMUs: Inertial measurement units (IMUs) integrate a three-axis accelerometer and a three-axis gyroscope, which Bosch Sensortec now claims to have put into the smallest package yet available for consumer-grade applications such as mobile phones, tablets and digital cameras.
Every smartphone today has a three-axis accelerometer to track motion—for automatically switching its screen from portrait to landscape—but for advanced gaming, gesture recognition and indoor navigational tasks, a three-axis gyroscope is needed, too. Accelerometers only track linear motion, but gyroscopes track rotation-in-place motion, thus providing a higher precision when tracking fine user movements. Packing both accelerometers and gyroscopes into a 3.5-by-4.5 millimeter package could enable any smartphone can upgrade to a full six-degree-of-freedom inertial measurement unit (IMU).