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Baolab Microsystems has developed a pure CMOS Lorentz-force MEMS sensor that it calls NanoEMS technology, which, integrated into its new 3D Digital Nanocompass the BLBC3-D, allows the device to be available at a lower price than comparable systems.

NanoEMS enables nanoscale MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) to be built using standard high-volume CMOS lines and fully integrated monolithically with the analogue and digital electronics.

The MEMS elements are defined during the normal CMOS production process within the existing metal interconnect layers of the wafer. 

According to the company, the reduced production costs of using this technology will enable developers of apps for smartphones and other mobile devices to gain a competitive advantage in an increasingly expanding market.

Key specifications

  • BLBC3-D uses Lorentz force sensors to detect the Earth’s magnetic field
  • Lorentz sensors consume less power than the more commonly used Hall sensors
  • NanoEMS makes it possible to manufacture Lorentz sensor systems at a lower cost than using conventional MEMS techniques
  • Engineering samples of BLBC3-D Nanocompass will be available in 2012
  • Commercial product will have I2C or SPI digital serial interface and a choice of either 3 x 3 x 0.9mm 10-pin DFN/0.5mm pitch package; or a 2 x 2 x 075mm BGA package

Baolab Microsystems

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