Freescale Unveils Thinnest 3-Axis Digital-Output Accelerometer

Freescale Semiconductor expanded its micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS)-based sensor portfolio with a 3-axis digital-output accelerometer that is 77 percent smaller than previous industry offerings. The world’s thinnest accelerometer, the MMA7450L is available in a 0.8 mm thin plastic land grid array (LGA) package designed to meet the growing space constraints of feature-rich portable devices. Designed to simplify integration of microprocessors and microcontrollers (MCUs), the MMA7450L is ideal for handheld terminals that implement user interfaces based on hand movements and appliances that require movement, acceleration or inclination sensing.

“The potential of triple-axis accelerometers is sparking the imagination of designers for all kinds of end uses, which will drive the growth of MEMS sensors in portable consumer electronics by nearly 10 percent over the next five years,” said Marlene Bourne, principal analyst at Bourne Research. “Low profile is extremely important, and Freescale has set the bar with one of the thinnest packages yet.”

The MMA7450L can communicate on both I2C and SPI interface buses. The digital output streamlines communication with the MCU or microprocessor. It eliminates the need for a dedicated analog-to-digital converter and enables the sensor to share interfaces with other devices, saving further space in small-form-factor systems. Additionally, portable device manufacturers can connect the MMA7450L directly to a wireless platform, such as Freescale’s i.MX architecture, or a highly integrated 8-bit MCU to design accelerometers into cell phones and portable media devices. The MMA7450L enables an array of motion-based functions, such as tilt scrolling, gaming control, tap to mute and freefall hard disk drive protection.

“This digital output accelerometer allows designers to make mobile devices, such as mobile phones and portable gaming, more advanced, enjoyable and easier to use,” Demetre Kondylis, vice president and general manager of Freescale’s Sensor and Actuator Solutions Division. “We have achieved a 77-percent reduction in package size and combined three axes of sensing direction with digital output, eliminating the need for an A/D converter and external memory. In short, this is an ideal acceleration sensor for the handheld consumer electronics market.”

In addition to providing an on-board digital output, the MMA7450L embeds features, such as threshold and pulse or click-detect for quick motion detection and offset calibration, eliminating the need for external memory. The MMA7450L includes a g-select feature with three sensitivities (2g, 4g, 8g). This gives designers the flexibility to select the g-force detection level a specific application needs. The MMA7450L is an ideal solution for portable consumer electronics that require a fast response time, high sensitivity, low-current consumption, low-voltage operation and a standby mode in a small package.

Leveraging its experience and heritage of zero-defect quality and reliability in the automotive market, Freescale continues to enhance its sensor designs, providing very high immunity to vibration and shock resistance up to 10,000g.

MMA7450L product features:

  • Digital output (I2C and SPI)
  • Low-profile 14-pin 3mm x 5mm x 0.8mm LGA package
  • XYZ: 3-axes of sensitivity
  • High sensitivity
  • 64 LSB/g at 2g
  • 64 LSB/g at 8g in 10-bit mode
  • Low current consumption: 400 micro amps
  • Standby mode: 5 micro amps
  • Low voltage operation: 2.4V – 3.6V
  • Variable g-select: 2g, 4g or 8g
  • Robust design, ability to survive shocks up to 10,000g
  • Programmable threshold interrupt output
  • Level detection for motion recognition
  • Single or double click recognition

Pricing and availability
The MMA7450L accelerometer is available now in sample quantities, with general availability expected in the third quarter of 2007. Suggested list price per unit in 10,000-piece quantities is $2.66 (USD). The KIT3468MMA7450LE evaluation board is available now for a suggested list price of $35 (USD). The RD3152MMA7260Q reference board is also available now for a suggested list price of $99 (USD).

About Freescale Semiconductor
Freescale Semiconductor is a global leader in the design and manufacture of embedded semiconductors for the automotive, consumer, industrial, networking and wireless markets. The privately held company is based in Austin, Texas, and has design, research and development, manufacturing or sales operations in more than 30 countries. Freescale is one of the world’s largest semiconductor companies with 2006 sales of $6.4 billion (USD).

Freescale Technology Forum
The Freescale Technology Forum (FTF) has become the developer event of the year for the embedded semiconductor industry. The Forum, which debuted in 2005, has been enthusiastically received by the global developer community, drawing more than 12,000 attendees at FTF events worldwide since its inception.

Freescale(TM) and the Freescale logo are trademarks of Freescale Semiconductor, Inc.