MEMS sensor: Tiny 3-axis gyroscope

STMicroelectronics offers tiny 3-axis gyroscope delivering power, speed, and design-in advantages. Ultra-compact sensor enhances user experiences, leveraging ST MEMS heritage for current and future applications, company said.


STMicroelectronics, serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications and the world’s top MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) manufacturer (according to IHS iSuppli: MEMS Competitive Analysis 2012), has unveiled its smallest, lowest-power and highest-performance chip-scale gyroscope for advanced motion-sensing applications.

ST’s L3GD20H gyroscope measures 3 x 3 mm and 1 mm high. Occupying little over half the volume of its predecessor, with better resolution, higher accuracy, superior stability, and faster response time, the new device enables smaller sensing mechanisms in smart consumer electronics, including mobile phones and tablets, game consoles, digital cameras and industrial tools.

The ultra-small dimensions of this gyroscope also allow experimental projects such as wearable electronics to move closer towards true practicality. One such application is the prototype smart suit that ST used to demonstrate inertial body-motion reconstruction early in 2012, which can help enhance various applications such as augmented reality, sports training aids, or medical therapy.

“Miniaturized, low-power sensors such as our new L3GD20H enable smart electronics to be used in ever-smaller and slimmer handheld devices, as well as in items such as clothes or sports equipment, creating opportunities for exciting new products and services,” said Roberto De Nuccio, Business Development Manager for ST’s Motion MEMS Division. “Both high-volume applications in smart phones and tablets and emerging applications such as prosthetics, medical instruments, goods tracking and power tools will benefit from this latest generation of tiny MEMS devices.”

Further information and features:

ST’s MEMS gyroscopes, as well as the accelerometers, magnetometers and iNEMO brand of inertial modules, enable innovative products and apps, such as context-sensitive user interfaces, augmented reality, kinetic gaming, and industrial solutions including container tracking or emergency-stop mechanisms. In February 2012, IHS iSuppli predicted the total market for MEMS devices enabling such applications will more than double to $4.25 billion by 2015. In particular, 3-axis gyroscopes - such as the L3GD20H - will represent over $900 million of this market, the company said.

In addition to enabling advanced product miniaturization, ST’s L3GD20H also helps conserve battery power by drawing 25 percent lower current than the previous generation of devices. The L3GD20H is also ready for action in only one-fifth of the time after turn on, enabling the end-user application to deliver a better overall experience. Finally, the gyroscope’s output has 60% lower noise, which can help to simplify hardware and software design and speed up communication with the host system leading to faster application performance.

The new gyroscope retains a similar register structure as its predecessor (L3GD20),   making it easy for designers to reuse existing software code and thus reduce time to market and lower development costs. Designers will also benefit from ST’s Sensor Fusion development environment.

Major features:

  • 3 x 3 x 1 mm package equaling smallest in industry today; 25% lower current draw, 60% lower output noise, 80% faster turn on
  • Three selectable full-scale ranges (245/500/2000 dps)
  • I2C/SPI two-line digital interface
  • Integrated low- and high-pass filters with user-selectable bandwidth
  • Power-down and sleep modes
  • Embedded temperature sensor and FIFO


The L3GD20H, housed in the LGA-16 leadless surface-mount package, is scheduled to begin sampling in Q3 2012 and to enter mass production in Q4 2012.

About STMicroelectronics

ST serves customers across the spectrum of sense and power technologies and multimedia convergence applications. From energy management and savings to trust and data security, from healthcare and wellness to smart consumer devices, in the home, car and office, at work and at play, ST is found everywhere microelectronics, making a positive and innovative contribution to peoples' lives. In 2011, the Company’s net revenues were $9.73 billion. Further information on ST can be found at

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Sister act: Building on their father's legacy, a new generation moves Bales Metal Surface Solutions forward; Meet the 2015 Engineering Leaders Under 40
2015 Mid-Year Report: Manufacturing's newest tool: In a digital age, digits will play a key role in the plant of the future; Ethernet certification; Mitigate harmonics; World class maintenance
2015 Lubrication Guide: Green and gold in lubrication: Environmentally friendly fluids and sealing systems offer a new perspective
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security
Cyber security attack: The threat is real; Hacking O&G control systems: Understanding the cyber risk; The active cyber defense cycle
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
Building high availability into industrial computers; Of key metrics and myth busting; The truth about five common VFD myths
New industrial buildings: Greener, cleaner, leaner; New building designs for industry; Take a new look at absorption cooling; Offshored jobs start to come back

Annual Salary Survey

After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.

The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.