CEA-Leti Reports High-Performance Gyroscope For Automotive, Aeronautic, and Industrial Applications
January 26, 2021
World’s First NEMS-Based Gyroscope Operates at 50 kHz in Severe Environments
CEA-Leti scientists, working with researchers at Politecnico di Milano, have developed the world’s first high-performance gyroscope for operation in severe environments, such as industrial and aeronautic equipment and automobiles. Per the company, the gyroscope proves it is possible to detect minute rotational movement even among system vibrations.
Low-power MEMS gyroscopes are suitable for multiple fields because of their small footprint and low power consumption. They can monitor and control device position, orientation, direction, angular motion, and rotation. According to the company, their integration into automobiles improves vehicle stability through an electronic stability-control system. They also can be used for dead reckoning –the determination of a car, ship, or aircraft position without the aid of celestial observations – in driverless cars. Their integration into smartphones allows detection of unit rotation and twist (gesture-recognition functions), indoor navigation when GPS is disabled and mixed reality, among other functions.
In driverless cars, these gyroscopes can ensure safe navigation when GPS is blocked, e.g. in a tunnel, and when LiDAR fails.
The devices operate at a given resonant frequency. Parasitic mechanical vibrations rarely exceed 40 kHz. But according to the company, there is no high-performance MEMS gyroscope with a resonant frequency >>20 kHz, above the frequency band of parasitic vibrations. When this frequency is close to that of the vibrations of the environment, mechanical disturbances can distort the measurements. In collaboration with Politecnico di Milano, CEA-Leti researchers overcame this distortion by developing a gyroscope that operates at frequencies in the order of 50 kHz, which is more than two times higher than the capability of conventional MEMS gyroscopes and beyond the frequencies of vibrations common even in severe automotive, industrial, and aeronautic settings.
Optical microscope picture of the 50-kHz M&NEMS gyroscope (the coloured areas detail the detection elements)
The breakthrough was reported in a paper titled “50kHz MEMS gyroscopes based on NEMS sensing with 1.3 mdps/√Hz ARW and 0.5°/h stability” at IEEE SENSORS 2020.
These new devices, which have been manufactured on CEA-Leti’s silicon pilot line, are compatible with processes of most MEMS foundries. Their fabrication is based on the M&NEMS technological platform that, depending on needs, allow the gyroscopes to be co-integrated with a 3-axis accelerometer and/or a high-performance pressure sensor, on a single chip.
For more information: www.cea.fr/english