Analog Devices Develops New Inertial Sensing Solution

Similar to the Internet, Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite navigation is now ubiquitous technology integrated into all aspects of daily life. GPS enables emergency vehicles to find the quickest response route in life-or-death situations; allows marine archaeologists to direct research vessels hunting for shipwrecks; and guides farmers in determining where to position their equipment to ensure their crops are planted for maximum yield. A new inertial sensing solution introduced by Analog Devices, Inc. (NYSE: ADI), a global leader in high-performance semiconductors, compensates for GPS signal loss or vehicle-induced signal irregularities in truck fleets, agricultural equipment, commercial and small aircraft, as well as ships, tankers, and other vehicles that rely on GPS satellite navigation to maintain accurate positional information.

Leveraging Analog Devices’ iMEMS(R) Motion Signal Processing Technology(TM), the ADIS16355 inertial measurement unit (IMU) allows industrial designers for the first time to equip their systems with sophisticated motion analysis and navigational dead reckoning functions previously reserved for defense, aerospace, and other high-end applications, at approximately one tenth of the cost. By detecting tiny shifts in linear acceleration and angular movement, the ADIS16355 provides dead reckoning, allowing vehicles to remain on course until a lost GPS signal is restored. In addition to navigation, the ADIS16355 can be used in highly sensitive robotic and other motion control devices, where the IMU helps make certain that precision movements can be accurately repeated thousands of times. For instance, the ADIS16355 helps stabilize an aerial camera in motion picture production; controls a robotic arm in factory automation; and ensures stability in a prosthetic limb.

Easily incorporated into industrial system designs where performance is enhanced by precise motion analysis and control, the ADIS16355 enables designers to realize up to 12 months faster development times. The new IMU extends ADI’s award-winning iSensor(TM) intelligent sensor product family, which was introduced to meet the growing demand for MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical System) motion sensors in industrial markets. The company has shipped more than 300 million iMEMS motion sensors to date.

The ADIS16355 is a multi-axis motion sensor that cost-effectively combines gyroscopes and accelerometers to measure all six possible degrees of mechanical freedom (6DOF); linear motion in the X, Y, and Z axes and rotation around the X, Y, and Z axes. Other less integrated sensors require designers to perform complex, costly, and time-consuming motion testing and calibration across multiple axes before they can be assured the devices will provide accurate and stable feedback. Analog Devices overcomes this barrier by submitting the ADIS16355 to a comprehensive factory calibration process and providing the new sensor with a simple, programmable interface to ensure it is both highly precise and ready for integration right out-of-the-box. The ADIS16355 also includes full-temperature-range calibration, versus the room temperature calibration available in the ADIS16350, and provides a superior bias temperature stability of 0.005 deg/sec/°C.

50 Times More Accurate and Easy to Integrate
With similar devices ranging in price from several hundred to several thousand dollars, many applications have been unable to afford the level of precision enabled by the ADIS16355 and ADIS16350, which also provide a 50-times improvement in sensor accuracy compared to other off-the-shelf inertial sensors. A more significant barrier is that the complexities involved in integrating and testing a complete solution starting from the basic sensors presents an extremely complex design challenge. The outstanding cost-performance ratio of the ADIS16355 and ADIS16350 is complemented by unprecedented ease of use, which ensures industrial designers can quickly integrate motion sensing functions into a range of applications.

“Since many motion sensors are shipped without calibration, their performance can be sensitive to changes in voltage, temperature, vibration, and the effects of other sensors in the IMU,” said Andy Garner, product line director for iSensor intelligent sensor products, Analog Devices. “Making such sensors useful within an already complex system is a challenge to even the best designers with access to the most sophisticated test and calibration equipment. By performing all critical IMU calibration and compensation in-house using a range of proprietary test capabilities, ADI can reduce system development time by up to 12 months, while potentially saving customers hundreds of thousands of dollars in test equipment costs.”

About the ADIS16355 IMU
Combining three axes of angular rate sensing and three axes of acceleration sensing, the ADIS16355 IMU provides six-degrees-of-freedom motion sensing, embedded calibration and sensor processing, sensor-to-sensor cross compensation, and significantly improved signal stability (in-run bias stability of 0.015 deg/sec) in a form factor smaller than a 1-inch cube. Factory calibration and embedded cross-axial alignment compensation enable designers without sensor expertise to quickly, easily, and cost-effectively integrate motion sensing technology to add an entirely new dimension of performance to their applications. Both the ADIS16355 and ADIS16350 include a programmable SPI (serial peripheral interface) port that provides easy access for programming features such as filtering, sample-rate, power-management, self-test, and sensor condition status and alarms. The devices are fully in-system tunable, allowing designers to quickly and easily debug their systems and experiment with different configurations for design optimization. The ADIS16355 provides exceptionally precise and stable sensor response, and the ADIS16350 offers a lower cost alternative for less sensitive applications.

Availability and Pricing
The ADIS16350 is available now and priced at $275 per unit in 1,000-unit quantities. The ADIS16355 will sample in July and release to full production in September 2007. The new device is priced at $359 per unit in 1,000-unit quantities. The IMUs are housed in compact modules measuring 23 mm × 23 mm × 23 mm.

About Analog Devices
Innovation, performance, and excellence are the cultural pillars on which Analog Devices has built one of the most long-standing, high-growth companies within the technology sector. Acknowledged industry-wide as the world leader in data conversion and signal conditioning technology, Analog Devices serves over 60,000 customers around the world, representing virtually all types of electronics equipment. Celebrating more than 40 years as a leading global manufacturer of high-performance integrated circuits used in analog and digital signal processing applications, Analog Devices, Inc. is headquartered in Norwood, Massachusetts, and employs approximately 8,900 people worldwide. It has manufacturing facilities in Massachusetts, California, North Carolina, Ireland, and the Philippines. Analog Devices’ common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and ADI is included in the S&P 500 Index.

iSensor and Motion Signal Processing are trademarks and iMEMS is a registered trademark of Analog Devices, Inc.