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Freescale introduces the first magnetometer in its Xtrinsic sensor portfolio

New three-axis magnetometer provides directional heading accuracy for use in localization applications for smart mobile devices

LAS VEGAS (International Consumer Electronics Show) – Jan. 6, 2011 – Freescale Semiconductor is expanding its Xtrinsic line of intelligent sensing solutions with the introduction of the MAG3110, the company's first magnetometer. The Xtrinsic MAG3110 is a small-profile, low-power, three-axis digital magnetometer that delivers enhanced digital electronic compass (eCompass) functionality for location-based services (LBS) such as navigation, dead-reckoning and location-tracking in smart mobile devices and other electronics.

When coupled with an accelerometer and GPS, the Xtrinsic MAG3110 helps give end-users precise orientation and location information for a more comprehensive navigational system. The Xtrinsic MAG3110 also acts as a backup system when both cellular and GPS signals are unavailable by sensing the earth's magnetic field to provide directional context.

The Xtrinsic MAG3110 is designed to address rapidly growing consumer demand for devices featuring LBS capabilities. LBS has fueled consumer adoption of a number of popular smart mobile device applications including Foursquare, Facebook Places and Google Goggles. A forecast by Juniper Research predicts global LBS revenues could soar to $12.7 billion by 2014, up from $3 billion in 2009. As this type of functionality gains popularity, end-users are expected to demand always-on navigational connections and more accurate location identification, which can be enabled through the use and design of magnetometer sensor technology such as the Xtrinsic MAG3110.

"LBS capabilities for smart mobile devices are growing increasingly important as consumers continue to seek and adopt compelling applications such as location-determined entertainment and enhanced shopping experiences," said Demetre Kondylis, vice president and general manager of Freescale's Sensor & Actuator Solutions Division. "To meet these demands, designers of next-generation smart mobile devices must increasingly incorporate the latest sensor technologies for high accuracy, performance and functionality. The Xtrinsic MAG3110 is Freescale's first magnetometer-based sensor product that addresses these opportunities, providing end-device manufacturers with advanced, affordable navigational technology required to make their devices and applications innovative, yet affordable."

A low-noise, high-resolution device, the Xtrinsic MAG3110 magnetometer features minimal averaging requirements for decreased latency and exceptionally reliable readings. The wide dynamic range of the Xtrinsic MAG3110 enables performance even in an environment that has magnetic interference. Freescale designed the Xtrinsic MAG3110 magnetometer to measure the components of the local magnetic field which is the sum of the geomagnetic field and the magnetic field created by components on the circuit board, including distortions, thus providing extremely accurate heading sensing and readings.

The complete Xtrinsic MAG3110 device includes a magnetic field sensing element and an interface integrated circuit that provides signal conditioning, communication and embedded functionality. Magnetic field data is readily passed to the system's computational engine via an I2C interface. Features include an interrupt signal that indicates when a new set of measured magnetic field strength data is available, thus simplifying data synchronization. This functionality improves the power efficiency of smart mobile devices, ultimately improving the battery life.

As a leader in sensor technology, Freescale's introduction of the Xtrinsic MAG3110 magnetometer complements the company's existing MEMS-based sensor offerings, creating a broad platform for producing extremely accurate electronic compass heading information. When combined with the high-precision Xtrinsic MMA845xQ or MMA9550L families of accelerometers, Freescale's solution provides a tilt-compensated eCompass for smart mobile devices. Hard iron and soft iron calibration and compensation algorithms are available to provide an extremely comprehensive and accurate solution for location-based applications.

Feature Summary:

  • Wide dynamic range: +/- 1,000 micro Tesla
  • High resolution in full dynamic range
  • 80 Hz maximum sampling rate
  • I2C interface at 400 kHz
  • Supply voltage: 1.95 to 3.6 V
  • OS drivers available
  • Data synchronization interrupts
  • Ultra small 2 x 2 x 0.8 mm 10-pin DFN package
  • -40°C to +85°C operating temperature range

Development support, price and availability
Suggested resale price for the Xtrinsic MAG3110 magnetometer starts at $1.47 (USD) in 10,000-piece quantities. The Xtrinsic MAG3110 magnetometer is now available in sample quantities, with production quantities planned for Q2 2011.

Freescale's Sensor Toolbox offers hardware, software and accessories in a common platform for accelerometers, pressure and touch sensors. The magnetic sensors are the latest addition to the Sensor Toolbox. The LFSTBEB3110 development board will be available for a suggested resale price of $75 (USD). In addition, for customers who may not have purchased the Sensor Toolbox USB board, the RD4247MAG3110 includes the Xtrinsic MAG3110 magnetometer development board as well as the USB board for a suggested resale price of $99 (USD). For more information, visit www.freescale.com/sensors.

Freescale: A Leader in Sensing Solutions
Expanding on its more than 30-year heritage of sensor innovation, Freescale's Xtrinsic sensing solutions are designed with the right combination of high-performance sensing capability, processing capacity and customizable software to help deliver smart, differentiated sensing applications. With Xtrinsic sensing solutions, our vision is to offer a diverse and differentiated product portfolio to meet the expanding needs of the automotive, consumer and industrial segments. Xtrinsic solutions offer ideal blends of functionality and intelligence designed to help our customers differentiate and win in highly competitive markets.

About Freescale Semiconductor
Freescale Semiconductor is a global leader in the design and manufacture of embedded semiconductors for the automotive, consumer, industrial and networking markets. The privately held company is based in Austin, Texas, and has design, research and development, manufacturing or sales operations around the world. www.freescale.com.

Media Contacts:

Americas
Jack Taylor
Freescale Semiconductor
(512) 996-5161
Jack.Taylor@freescale.com

Erin Hanley
Lois Paul & Partners
(512) 638-5309
Erin_Hanley@lpp.com

Asia Pacific
Gloria Shiu
Freescale Semiconductor
(85-22) 666-8237
gloria.shiu@freescale.com

Europe, Middle East and Africa
Laurent Massicot
Freescale Semiconductor
(33-16) 935-7712
mailto:regina.cirmonova@freescale.com

India
Anjali Srivastava
Freescale Semiconductor
(91-120) 395-0000
anjali.srivastava@freescale.com

Japan
Masako Tanikawa
Freescale Semiconductor
(81-3) 5437-9128
Masako.tanikawa@freescale.com

Freescale and the Freescale logo are trademarks of Freescale Semiconductor, Inc., Reg. U.S. Pat. & Tm. Off. Xtrinsic is a trademark of Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. All other product or service names are the property of their respective owners. 2011 Freescale Semiconductor, Inc.

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