MEMS Enabling New Features, Better Performance for Mobile Devices at Mobile World Congress 2010

Whether it’s a new netbook, iPad, or smartphone that has your eye, almost everyone seems to crave sort of mobile information and communication device right now. Here’s just a couple of MEMS-related announcements from Mobile World Congress 2010, going on right now in Barcelona:

Freescale Semiconductor announced a new low-power accelerometer for use in mobile phones, eReaders, netbooks and other mobile devices. Michelle Kelsey, Freescale Sensor Manager, shared some of the benefits of the new accelerometers on Freescale’s Smart Mobile Devices blog:

  • Orientation detection that allows for custom response depending on the mode, faster response time (i.e. browsing the web verses dialing a phone number) and higher reliability by considering environmental effects (i.e. in a car or walking while dialing)
  • Acceleration data buffers to ensure gesture recognition can be achieved with preserving data if it is not able to be processed right away
  • Auto-sleep detection that can tell the system processor to go to sleep to significantly save system power
  • Auto-wake detection that allows the accelerometer to wake-up the system by a shake, tap, flip or any combination of multiple configurable gestures
  • Tap and double tap detection for controlling functions without having to wait for a display to appear and to find the location of the touch screen buttons
  • Shake detection to eliminate the need for finding the small side buttons for controlling volume or for sliding through a display or menu
  • 12-bit acceleration data for more complex motion gesture detection for control and for more intense mobile games
  • Configurable output data rates with significant savings in power (ie. The MMA8450Q can achieve 50Hz ODR with only 27uA current consumption)

Also, Texas Instruments announced a new DLP® Pico™ chipset that makes it possible to project high-quality video from a wide range of mobile devices. DLP® technology–the optical engine of many projectors and TV sets–consists of millions of tiny MEMS mirrors that reflect light to produce razor sharp images.

The new Pico™ chipset includes:

• nHD (640×360) resolution
• Enables leading contrast ratio of better than 1,000:1 for the blackest blacks and most accurate whites
• Enables true RGB LED wide color gamut for rich saturated colors
• Improved power efficiency and electronic footprint
• Incorporates a new low power Pico DPP2601/2607 ASIC/Processor
• Enables a greater than 20 percent thinner optical module than WVGA chipset with full offset
• Enables a greater than 50 percent smaller optical module volume than WVGA chipset with full offset

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