MEMS Industry Group publishes standards document
May 3, 2013 by John Day
The MEMS Industry Group (MIG) has released “Standardized Sensor Performance Parameter Definitions,” a collaboratively authored document that identifies the performance parameter specifications of accelerometers, magnetometers, gyroscopes, pressure sensors, hygrometers, temperature sensors, ambient light sensors and proximity sensors.
Evaluating MEMS devices
The MIG document, co-authored by Ken Foust of Intel and Carlos Puig of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., is one of the first to provide apples-to-apples comparisons of disparate microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) sensors from diverse sensor vendors. It is designed to allow chipset manufacturers, consumer-platform providers, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), original design manufacturers (ODMs) and independent software vendors (ISVs) to more easily evaluate sensor solutions for their applications, thereby streamlining the supply chain.
Recognizing that sensors cannot easily proliferate across vertical and horizontal sectors without standardization, Intel and Qualcomm Technologies embraced a leadership role in actualizing this historic document.
“As a leader in the mobile industry, Qualcomm Technologies recognizes the importance of standardizing sensor parameters for the mobile device ecosystem,” said Len Sheynblat, vice president of technology, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “As the mobile sensor space continues to evolve, we will continue to take an active role in developing and supporting a standard that will help the industry, our suppliers and customers. We look forward in continuing to working closely with MIG-member companies responsible for delivering MEMS sensors in consumer products.”
MEMS in mobile; scalable elsewhere
“A future where MEMS are ubiquitous in mobile devices and more readily scalable to other markets expands opportunities for continued product innovation and growth,” said Steve Whalley, director, Sensors, Intel Corporation. “With a long history in industry collaboration and standardizations, Intel recognizes the important role of a specification that breaks down barriers in evaluating MEMS sensors. In the past, this evaluation was either too light to produce credible conclusions or far too heavy, time-consuming and expensive. This specification brings us closer to a more scalable ‘middle’ approach, which we hope will accelerate more meaningful evaluation.”
MEMS Industry Group cited the contributions of Analog Devices, Bosch Sensortec, Freescale Semiconductor, Hillcrest Labs, InvenSense, Kionix, Maxim Integrated, Movea, NIST, PNI Sensor Corporation, STMicroelectronics and Xsens Technologies.
“The MEMS industry recognizes the need for standardization,” said Karen Lightman, executive director, MEMS Industry Group. “The ‘Standardized Performance Parameter Definitions’ document is an important step forward. It provides the sensor industry a much needed standardization heading, truly signifying the arrival of a mature MEMS industry. Under MIG’s guidance and through the tireless leadership of Intel and Qualcomm Technologies, the sensor industry has acknowledged an important product specification issue. Today we bear the fruits of collaboration as we share a common set of performance parameters that will help to improve efficiency throughout the supply chain.”
“Standardized Sensor Performance Parameter Definitions” is available to the public for download at: www.memsindustrygroup.org/spd.