ST and Qualcomm collaborate on sensor solutions

STMicroelectronics Pty Ltd

Friday, 27 November, 2020

ST and Qualcomm collaborate on sensor solutions

Semiconductor company STMicroelectronics is looking to extend its leadership in sensor technologies by developing innovative software solutions using technology from Qualcomm Technologies through the Qualcomm Platform Solutions Ecosystem program.

As part of the program, ST is contributing pre-validated software to OEMs for its MEMS and other sensing devices to deliver advanced features to the next generation of smartphones, connected PCs, IoT and wearables. Most recently, Qualcomm Technologies has pre-selected ST’s latest high-accuracy, low-power, motion-tracking IC with intelligent sensor software, along with ST’s most accurate pressure sensor, for use in its latest 5G mobile reference platforms.

The motion-tracking sensor, the iNEMO LSM6DST, is a 6-axis inertial measurement unit (IMU) that integrates a 3-axis digital accelerometer and a 3-axis gyroscope into a compact and efficient system-in-package. With power consumption of just 0.55 mA in high-performance mode and as little as 4 µA in Accelerometer-only mode, the LSM6DST enables always-on motion tracking. In concert with ST’s low-noise (0.65 Pa), high-accuracy (±0.5 hPa), I3C-enabled LPS22HH pressure sensor, the pair provides location tracking that should meet even the most restrictive power budgets.

For imaging applications, the LSM6DST fully supports EIS and OIS (electronic and optical image stabilisation) applications as the module includes a dedicated configurable signal processing path for OIS and auxiliary SPI, configurable for both the gyroscope and accelerometer and, in turn, the auxiliary SPI and primary interface (SPI/I²C and MIPI I3CSM) can configure the OIS.

Benefiting from ST’s robust and mature low-power ThELMA process technology, the LSM6DST supports and simplifies integration in low-power circuit designs and offers I²C, MIPI I3C or SPI from the sensing element to the application. It also contains a 9 KB FIFO to allow dynamic data batching and 16 finite state machines that recognise programmed data sequences from the sensor and further reduce system-level power consumption.

“ST has long recognised the importance of sensors in Qualcomm Technologies’ solutions and has been a strong collaborator for many years,” said Manvinder Singh, Vice President, Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies. “They have demonstrated leadership in sensors with new interfaces such as MIPI I3C along with the ability to squeeze the power budget on its devices while maintaining or increasing sensor accuracy.

“We are pleased to have ST join our Qualcomm Platform Solutions Ecosystem program to integrate and optimise their advanced sensor algorithms on the always-on, low-power island of our Qualcomm Snapdragon Mobile Platforms. Collaboration with strategic vendors such as ST is critical to enabling the fast adoption of 5G technologies in different verticals.”

“Having worked closely with Qualcomm Technologies for many years, we’ve been able to assure sensor performance that meets the demanding requirements of next-generation mobile and wearable devices and software solutions that can be used with the Qualcomm Sensor Execution Environment,” said Andrea Onetti, Group VP and General Manager, MEMS Sensor Division, STMicroelectronics. “These include advanced features — such as hinge- or fold-angle detection for smartphones and mobile PCs — and enable the seamless integration and faster time-to-market of these features that customers across the globe require.

“Combining the industry’s lowest-power high-accuracy IMU with our high-precision, robust, and extremely stable-over-time-and-temperature pressure sensor, can enable the best possible location accuracy to meet e911 and eCall requirements.”

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