Si-Ware Systems (SWS), a provider of IC and MEMS based solutions for industrial and consumer applications, announced this week that it has launched its inertial sensor development platform. According to the company, the platform is a tool for sensor developers that can be used to evaluate an inertial sensor, such as a gyroscope or accelerometer, to understand the behavior of the sensor and its performance with complete interface electronics. The platform utilizes SWS's inertial sensor interface ASIC which is configurable and reportedly has already been used in conjunction with multiple accelerometers and gyroscopes. Si-Ware said that the ASIC features an ultra-low noise front-end, and a highly configurable open and closed loop operation, as well as high voltage capabilities.
The company's platform is designed to allow for the quick and easy interfacing of almost all capacitive MEMS devices to comprehensive and high performance electronics. Rapid and detailed evaluation of issues such as parasitic modes of oscillation, electrical and mechanical coupling, high-volt effects and temperature behaviours can provide crucial insight to MEMS and ASIC designers. This enables rapid time-to-market and concurrent optimization of MEMS and electronics. The platform can also serve as a tool to evaluate teh company's ASIC, which is offered in die format with optional customization, for products targeting the high-end segment.
"For a number of years now we have been developing and utilizing development platforms internally that allow us to quickly and accurately understand and model the behaviour of our partners' MEMS devices," said Ayman Elsayed, ASIC solutions division manager at Si-Ware Systems. "With a thorough understanding of the MEMS device and its behaviour with interface electronics, potential pitfalls can be avoided and an interface ASIC can be developed much more efficiently."
The company's platform consists of a programming board, an ASIC daughter board with a sensor placeholder, a USB interface, and associated PC software. Si-Ware provides options for mounting the sensor to the daughter board, including creating custom daughter boards to match a particular sensor. Through an easy-to-use software interface, the MEMS sensor can be interrogated and the ASIC parameters configured to best match the sensor. If desired, the ASIC parameters can then be burned into the memory of the ASIC and the sensor-ASIC daughter board can be removed and utilized for system level measurements.
In addition to its experience with MEMS inertial sensors, Si-Ware has worked with piezoelectric sensors, MEMS resonators, and MEMS optics. The company has developed an extensive IP library of electronics for MEMS and piezoelectric devices that can be utilized in the development of interface ASICs. While this is the first development platform that Si-Ware is making available to developers, the company has other internal development tools for the evaluation of MEMS or piezoelectric devices.
Si-Ware Systems is an independent fabless semiconductor company providing a wide spectrum of product design and development solutions, custom ASIC development and supply as well as standard products. The company focuses on MEMS design and development, as well as analog and mixed-signal to provide solutions and products in different areas ranging from PLL-based timing circuits, sensor interfaces, frequency synthesis, data converters, RF front ends, and MEMS based sensor systems.