Electronic compass reduces error

Used in smartphones, smartwatches, fitness trackers and other wearable devices, the LSM303AGR eCompass cuts the heading error to less than 4°, says STMicroelectronics. Current solutions can give errors of about 10° in latitudes such as Northern Italy or Northern California, points out the company, which can put the user off-course by 150m or more in every 1km travelled.

It uses the company’s proprietary technology for manufacturing magnetic sensors. The resulting enhanced accuracy, combined with low-power operation – consuming up to 50% less than competing devices when in low-power mode – is well suited to high-precision pedestrian dead reckoning (PDR) on mobile devices, says the company.

The sensor also enhances dead-reckoning accuracy in applications such as automotive navigation, and maintains accuracy over the full temperature range from -40 to +85°C. According to the company, competing devices can vary by 35% or more over small intervals such as between normal room temperature and human-body temperature.

The device is available now, packaged as a 2.0 x 2.0 x 1.0mm 12-lead LGA.


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