STMicroelectronics has introduced a new family of gyroscopes specifically optimized for optical image stabilization in smartphones and digital still cameras.
Optical Image Stabilization has become an essential feature in today’s smartphones and digital still cameras. By moving the lens in real time to compensate for physical movement of the camera, it can significantly improve the sharpness of the image, especially when taking photographs in low light, when hand jitter during the longer exposure time would blur images.
In addition, to assure maximum reliability, the new 2-axis (L2G3IS) and 3-axis (L3G3IS) gyroscopes operate with a resonant frequency of the sensing mass at around 20kHz. As a result of this high resonant frequency in combination with the mechanical structure, the devices are immune to the damage that could be caused by ultrasonic cleaning equipment (typically operating at around 30kHz) that many customers use to clean devices before equipment assembly.
“In addition to revolutionizing user interfaces with intuitive gesture recognition, MEMS gyroscopes have brought enormous benefits to hand-held digital photography through optical image stabilization. With the LxG3IS family, ST’s proven MEMS manufacturing technology and supply-chain advantage are applied to gyroscopes that are uniquely tailored for image stabilization and offer increased damage protection,” said Fabio Pasolini, General Manager, Motion MEMS Division, STMicroelectronics.
Other key technical features of the new devices include +/-65 dps / +/-130 dps full-scale range, SPI digital interface, embedded temperature sensor, and integrated low- and high-pass filters with selectable bandwidth. The devices operate with supply voltage from 2.4V to 3.6V and are housed in an LGA-16 3×3.5×1 mm package.
According to information and analytics firm IHS, ST’s total MEMS and sensor sales grew more than 19 percent in 2012, reaching a total of approximately $800 million. In the largest of these markets, motion sensors in mobile handsets and tablets, ST’s MEMS sales accounted for 48 percent of the market, well more than twice as large as that of its closest competitor.
Samples of ST’s new 2-axis (L2G3IS) and 3-axis (L3G3IS) gyroscopes are available now and budgetary unit pricing is $2.37 (L2G3IS) and $3.38 (L3G3IS) for orders over 1,000 pieces.