Today, the proliferation of sensors is having a great influence in all aspects of our lives. They are bringing exciting ways of interacting with the world and is core to connected applications and a key building block of the Internet of Things (Smart Things, Smart Cities, Smart Industry, and Smart Home) and Smart Driving (Connected
ST is at the center of the evolution of the MEMS and sensors industry, driving continuous innovation for more diverse applications of sensors and micro-actuators. After bringing motion MEMS to the consumer, ST continues to grow in consumer market while expanding presence in new areas of automotive and
Mr. Vishal Goyal, Senior Manager – Technical Marketing, Analog and MEMS Group [AMG], India, Asean and ANZ, STMicroelectronics talks more on ST leadership in MEMS technology and highlights innovative demos at the recently held MEMS conference organized by STMicroelectronics at their Greater Noida center. Excerpt from the presentation.
What are the new key trends within MEMS technology?
Sensors are now spreading in the world and having a great influence in all aspects of our lives. They are bringing exciting ways of interacting with the world and is core to connected applications and a key building block of the Internet of Things (Smart
Things, Smart Cities, Smart Industry, and Smart Home) and Smart Driving (Connected Car).
Internet of Things begins to impact high value MEMS i.e. from industrial processes to building, medical and mil-aero. The traditional drivers -ageing populations, energy efficiency remain in place but are augmented by the first effects of the industrial Internet of Things. This manifests itself in respectable volumes. Examples are in asset
tracking, smart farming or through tele-medical delivery of cardiac data from patient to doctor.
Moreover, performance microphones developed for the likes of Apple iPhones are finding application in smart homes and smart cities. But also indirectly, the Internet of Things is impacting MEMS. Big data, driven by cloud computing and storage, is again propelling demand for data centers, which exerts an impulse for the growth in MEMS optical cross connects. These data centers also drive memory ICs, which need to be tested by MEMS wafer probes.
Can you mention few examples of devices made by ST for wearable applications?
Wearables are electronic devices which are small and light weight so can born by the user. They are getting adopted as watches, fashion accessory, fitness tracker, security devices or specialized medical gadgets. A wearable device may be independent in its functioning or it may act as accessory to other device such as tablet or Smartphone. In this case it is mainly used as input or output device with some computing power.
ST has designed a range of products keeping energy efficiency and size considerations in mind, which ensure the best performance for wearable device with ultra-low-power processing and connectivity, power and energy management, and sensors.
Few examples of ST Wearable applications are :
- Activity monitor
- Smart Watch
- Glasses & Goggles
- Environmental sensors (Real time monitoring of temperature, humidity and exposure to sun)
- Inertial modules, pressure sensors (Activity monitoring & positioning)
- Analog sensors (For heart monitoring)
- Heart rate monitors
- Glucose monitors
- Pulse Oximeters
Proximity and Anti-theft accessories
- BLE enabled car keys can be found easily with the help of connected Smartphone
Security and tracking
- Wearable watch or tracking devices
What are key milestones achieved by ST in wearable technology segment?
- ST has shipped more than 100 million Pressure sensors in 2015
- We have introduced world’s smallest pressure sensor in tiny package (2x2x0.76mm)
- Used for altimeters, indoor navigation and weather stations.
- Shipped around 65 million pressure sensors in 2014.
- ST has launched world’s first sensor to provide a direct digital output of the Ultraviolet Index (UVI)-Now in a wearable device
- Combined temperature & humidity sensor in smart home projects
- Important Applications include:
- Indoor navigation
- Weather station
How ST maintains its leadership position in MEMS technology space?
ST is at the center of the evolution of the MEMS and sensors industry, driving continuous innovation for more diverse applications of sensors and micro-actuators with wide-ranging product portfolio, reliable supply chain and strong ecosystem of global and local partners.
ST is the only company to offer the full range of Sensors & Micro-actuators. We offer a broad product portfolio that focuses on high-end analog and ultra-low power, highest accuracy, sensitivity and integration. To date, 11 billion of ST MEMS has been shipped. MEMS micro-mirrors is a shining example of innovation and market leadership of ST. We are already enjoying market success inside Intel’s RealSense laser scanning application and now many other tier-one companies are interested in this brilliant new product.
We are continuously strengthening its position in the MEMS market through the introduction of new devices. In addition to motion sensors, environmental sensors and MEMS microphones, we are using MEMS mirrors to develop a complete solution for ultra-mobile projectors. It is a race against the clock to keep competitive advantage and maintain the trust of our customers. This requires to be innovative and creative while following our strategic direction.
Please explain about Key Demos at display.
Wesu Smart Watch platform
- STEVAL-WESU1 FW provides a complete framework to build wearable applications, using inertial and environmental sensor drivers, battery profile measurements, and Bluetooth low energy for data communication
- The system embeds a low power ARM Cortex-M3 microcontroller unit (STM32L151VE), an iNEMO inertial module (LSM6DS3), a high performance magnetometer (LIS3MDL), a barometric pressure sensor (LPS25HB), a Bluetooth® low energy wireless network processor (BLUENRG-MS) and power management circuitry that allows fast charging and precise energy estimation (STNS01 and STC3115)
- BLUEMICROSYSTEM1 provides a complete middleware for STM32 to build applications using inertial (e.g. motion MEMS) and environmental (e.g. humidity, pressure, temperature) sensors, leveraging Bluetooth Low Energy for sensor data communication
- The package includes:
- osxMotionFX (INEMOEngine PRO under OPEN.MEMS license), which uses advanced algorithms to integrate outputs from multiple MEMS sensors in a “smart” way, independent of environmental conditions, to reach optimal performance
- osxMotionAR (iNEMOEngine PRO under OPEN.MEMS license) real-time activity-recognition algorithm
- osxMotionCP (iNEMOEngine PRO under OPEN.MEMS license) carry-position recognition algorithm
Voice over BLE
- BlueVoice + Android provides a complete example of STM32 application for voice streaming (acquired by digital MEMS microphones) over Bluetooth Low Energy to an Android device. The package is based on an improved version of OsxBlueVoice library which implements a vendor-specific profile, defining a service composed of an audio characteristic
- The BlueVoice+Android application supports three different audio compression algorithms: ADPCM, Opus and SBC. This package contains a firmware for the Peripheral unit and an .apk application for the Central unit. The software provides an example application for STM32 Nucleo platforms equipped with the X-NUCLEO-IDB04A1 expansion board featuring BlueNRG network module and the X-NUCLEO-CCA02M1 expansion board featuring one digital MEMS microphone
Lechal Smart Shoes and Insoles
- Lechal, has launched the world’s first haptic footwear that offers hands-free navigation. Their products contain ST microcontrollers, MEMS sensors, Bluetooth connectivity and power management devices