World’s smallest MEMS gyroscope for navigation

World’s smallest MEMS gyroscope for navigation

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

French research lab CEA-Leti, in collaboration with Politecnico di Milano in Italy, has developed a MEMS gyroscope sensor with a footprint of 1.3 square millimeters using nano-resistive sensing.

To reach the small size the key parameters of bias instability an angular random walk needed to be improved by a couple of orders of magnitude compared to commercial MEMS gyroscopes. The results were reported in a paper, “1.3 mm2 Nav-Grade NEMS-Based Gyroscope”, in the Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems.

The gyroscope is compatible with standard MEMS foundries for high-volume markets such as the automotive industry. The team is working on 3-axis gyroscope co-integration.

“This improved performance must not come with a high cost so the device will be priced competitively in large-volume markets, such as the automotive and consumer markets,” said Philippe Robert, MEMS business development manager at CEA-Leti. The gyroscopes do not exceed 2 square millitmeters per axis of measurement and are made using standard MEMS technology and wafer-level vacuum packaging. The team also ensured the resonant frequency is greater than 25kHz to withstand conventional vibration environments.

“This architecture enables best-in-class MEMS gyroscopes in terms of overall performance, size and resonant frequency, and our breakthrough 1.3 square millimeter high-frequency device is already at the state-of-the-art performance in terms of noise, bias stability, scale range and bandwidth,” said Robert. “Several design and technology improvements are right now under investigation.”

Manufactured on CEA-Leti’s silicon pilot line, these gyroscopes can be co-integrated with high-performance 3-axis accelerometer and barometric-pressure sensors. Because it is compatible with most MEMS foundry processes, this technology could reach markets within two years, the research institute said.

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