Microelectromechanical-systems (MEMS) technology uses micro fabrication techniques to combine microelectronics capabilities with the mechanical properties of microsensors. Increasingly, MEMS gyroscopes and accelerometers are used in a large number of devices for both consumer and industrial applications.
Active suspensions, for example, require four extremely stable and accurate sensors mounted on the wheels in order to achieve a greater degree of ride quality and car handling, thus allowing for better traction and control. Another application is to prevent passengers on the front seat from being thrown out of the passenger compartment in case of an accident.
The benefits of these MEMS approaches include high efficiency, small size, and low cost. Automobile MEMS sensors play a key role, solving safety challenges in an extremely accurate and stable design. In fact, electronic safety systems based on MEMS technology can ensure compliance with functional safety standards, enabling designers to more efficiently achieve their goals. Demand is stronger than ever for enhanced safety and security in the automotive industry, which is propelling growth and development in the MEMS market.
MEMS accelerometers and gyroscopes both are benefiting from this growth. Accelerometers measure accelerations in one, two, or three orthogonal axes. They’re typically used to calculate inclination or orientation with respect to gravity acceleration, as well as to measure vibrations and shocks. To select the right accelerometer for particular application, designers must consider different project variables, including sensor structure, resonance, reliability, stability, bandwidth, and energy consumption, together with cost.