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Electronic compass, motion sensor boast tiny footprint

07 Nov 2014

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MCube revealed updated versions of its electronic compass and motion sensors, targeted at wearables, gaming devices, tablets and smartphones.

The new MC6470 eCompass and MC7030 iGyro inertial motion sensors claims to be more than 50 per cent smaller than previous generations. They are available for sampling, with volume production scheduled for the second quarter of 2015.

"With these two new products, we now offer the world's smallest, lowest power consumption eCompass and iGyro sensors, enabling our customers to build smaller and more efficient products, with better performance than previously possible," said Ben Lee, president and CEO, mCube, Inc.

The MC6470 combines a high precision magnetic sensor with mCube's third generation single-chip MEMS accelerometer into a 6DoF (6 Degrees of Freedom) eCompass.

Meanwhile, the MC7030 iGyro solution combines a 9DoF (9 Degrees of Freedom) accelerometer, magnetometer and rotational sensor. It features the industry's first software-based gyroscope optimised for Android smartphones and tablets. The product enables "virtual" gyroscope functionality on all mobile devices, delivering immersive, 9DoF motion gaming and augmented reality experiences to phone and tablet users. At the same time, the solution cuts power, cost and board space in half, compared to hardware-based discrete solutions found in all high-end phones today.

Along with the launch of the products, the company introduced footprint compatibility for 3DoF, 6DoF and 9DoF sensors in a 2mmx2mm package. These two new sensors, together with the MC34xx family of accelerometers, are positioned to allow manufacturers the flexibility to provide three tiers of products with only a single PCB design, reducing inventory management efforts.

To achieve a small footprint, the sensors leverage mCube's monolithic single-chip MEMS design approach. This approach involves placing one or more motion sensors onto nearly any object or device that moves. In some cases, the single-chip MEMS motion sensor silicon can be attached directly onto a printed circuit board without requiring chip packaging, saving real estate and reducing height to enable thinner and smaller system designs.

The mCube eCompass and iGyro products are optimised for applications requiring high precision directional sensing, including map orientation, virtual reality data overlay, enhanced navigation with dead reckoning assistance, and hardware gyroscope replacement. Both provide standard accelerometer and magnetometer features, such as a motion enabled user interface, gesture recognition and gaming control.

Together with mCube's eMotion software, these products ease the integration of compass and rotational sensing functionality into the end product, providing tilt compensated heading calculations, hard- and soft-iron calibration, and World Magnetic Model (WMM) compensation.

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