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Acceleration sensors improve vehicle safety

Posted: 04 Nov 2011     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Acceleration sensors  advanced airbag systems  vehicle 

Freescale announces MMA65xxKW family of acceleration sensors designed to expedite development of advanced airbag systems that help save lives and protect against injuries caused by vehicle collisions.

MMA65xxKW family of accelerometers

Freescale's Xtrinsic MMA65xxKW family of accelerometers employs intelligent sensing technologies designed for front and side crash detection that can be easily and efficiently integrated into vehicle airbag systems.

According to the company, the MMA65xxKW family is based on high-aspect-ratio micro-electromechanical systems (HARMEMS) technology. The family offers better resolution (precision) and a wider dynamic range than competing solutions on the market today, resulting in higher performance capabilities. Featuring a robust in-vehicle communication system, the MMA65xxKW family has sophisticated crash detection capabilities that claim to enable fast and dependable deployment of the total passive safety system when collisions are unavoidable.

The family of sensors claims to deliver a simplified approach for the airbag system that supplies a higher sensor resolution without necessary programming by automotive manufacturers—resulting in greater design efficiency and lower associated costs.

The MMA65xxKW accelerometers are the safing sensors located in the vehicle's main electronic control unit (ECU) if the airbag system uses satellite sensors. Satellite inertial sensors (Freescale's MMA5xxxKW) are positioned around the perimeter of the car to detect front and side impacts. Working together, these sensors assist the vehicle in determining the optimal deployment of the airbags.

The MMA65xxKW sensors work at 105g-range and a 12bit data output with 18.2LSB/g, enabling improved sensor resolution with no programming necessary by the manufacturer and wider dynamic range measurement capabilities required for smaller vehicles. Compatible with a standard serial peripheral interface (SPI) protocol, the sensors can be incorporated into an airbag system without much effort. They feature an arming pin function that reduces the risk of data corruption in the main crash sensor or safing sensor of the airbag system. The MMA65xxKW family incorporates either a single- or dual-axis over-damped lateral inertial sensor housed in a quad flat no-lead (QFN) package, which is designed for a smaller footprint and more flexibility for module orientation in vehicles.

The MMA65xxKW family of acceleration sensors (MMA6519KW, MMA6525KW, MMA6527KW, MMA6555KW, MMA6556KW) are sampling now and are planned to be in production in Q2 2012 for a suggested resale price (USD) starting at Rs.165.47 ($3.69) for the MMA6519KW, MMA6525KW and MMA6527KW and Rs.134.08 ($2.99) for the MMA6555KW and MMA6556KW in 10,000-piece quantities.

- Christoph Hammerschmidt
   Automotive DesignLine

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