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Date: 03-03-14

Miniature barometric pressure sensor from STMicroelectronics

The LPS25H miniature barometric pressure sensor from STMicroelectronics is winning market share at leading smartphone manufacturers by providing innovative and unique features optimized for mobile applications.

Demands for new and better smartphones and tablets will accelerate the global market for pressure sensors like the LPS25H to $375 million by 2017 for consumer electronic applications, according to IHS1. The sensors improve indoor navigation, enabling accurate floor detection and enhanced location-based services. Barometric pressure data also aids dead-reckoning calculations and opens the door to new smartphone apps such as weather analyzers and health and sports monitors.

The LPS25H is a MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) sensor, benefiting from ST’s position as the world’s top MEMS supplier and owner of over 900 MEMS-related patents and patent applications worldwide. The unique features of this sensor include enhanced temperature compensation which allows apps to perform consistently in changing environments, . In addition, auto-zero capability allows instant accuracy upon entering a building together with additional value-added features like thresholds and interrupts.. In addition to mobile applications, ST’s LPS25H is also used in wearable, industrial, and smart-home systems.

Commenting on the first design wins by the LPS25H, Francesco Italia, General Manager, High-End Sensor and Analog Division, STMicroelectronics, said, “ST’s new pressure sensor combines advanced functionality and best-in-class quality, giving our customers the confidence to deliver innovative new products to market ahead of the curve. We expect new smartphones containing the LPS25H to enjoy considerable success, offering great features that deliver significant added value for end users.”

The tiny 2.5mm x 2.5mm x 1mm sensor occupies minimal space and has very low operating current of 4µA to preserve battery life. Ultra low-noise design helps ensure accuracy to within ±0.2mbar.

Samples of the LPS25H in Cavity-Holed LGA (HCLGA) package are available now, priced at $1.40 for 1000 pieces.

Further technical information: Inside the LPS25H
The LPS25H integrates the MEMS sensing element and IC interface in the same package. The sensing element detects absolute pressure and consists of a suspended membrane realized inside a single mono-silicon substrate. An intrinsic mechanical stopper protects against membrane breakage. ST’s advanced manufacturing process technology enables a significantly smaller membrane size compared to traditionally built silicon micro-machined membranes.

The IC interface is manufactured using a standard CMOS process, which allows a high level of integration and accurate trimming of the circuit to match the characteristics of the sensing element. The temperature compensation algorithm applies second-order (quadratic) correction to achieve best-in-class accuracy independent of temperature variation over a wide range. By integrating a data-storage FIFO (First-In First-Out memory) and supporting user-controlled thresholds and interrupts, the LPS25H minimizes demand on system resources and helps simplify software design.

Designers working with the LPS25H can take advantage of ST’s extensive MEMS expertise and development ecosystem, which includes the LPS25H pressure sensor evaluation kit with dedicated adapter board (STEVAL-MKI142V1) for the STEVAL-MKI109V2 motherboard.

News Source: st.com

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