Baolab uses its NanoEMS technology to create ultra-low cost 3D Digital MEMS Compasses in CMOS


Baolab Microsystems is first to design a pure CMOS Lorentz force MEMS sensor and, as a result, its new 3D Digital NanoCompass™ matches performance benchmarks for sensitivity, power consumption and package size, but at a dramatically lower cost.

Barcelona, Spain, July 06, 2011 -- Until now, 3D Compasses have typically used non-standard technologies such as magneto-resistive materials or Hall-effect structures combined with magnetic field concentrators to detect the direction of the Earth’s magnetic field. Baolab Microsystems is first to design a pure CMOS Lorentz force MEMS sensor and, as a result, its new 3D Digital NanoCompass™ matches performance benchmarks for sensitivity, power consumption and package size, but at a dramatically lower cost. An additional unique feature resulting from this integration is that the device auto-calibrates to maintain consistent accuracy.

The BLBC3-D NanoCompass is the first product that will be made using Baolab's breakthrough NanoEMS™ technology. NanoEMS enables nanoscale MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical Systems) to be built using standard high-volume CMOS lines and fully integrated monolithically with the analogue and digital electronics. The MEMS elements are defined during the normal CMOS production process within the existing metal interconnect layers of the wafer.

As the market for 3D Compasses grows for smartphones and other mobile devices, the ASP will be rapidly driven down from around a dollar to 50 cents and lower,” explained Dave Doyle, Baolab's CEO. “Allowing for the fixed costs of testing, tape & reel, pick and place, packaging, etc., the only way to hit this target price and still have a margin for profit is to use our NanoEMS technology, as traditional approaches are several times more expensive. When several devices are integrated onto a single chip to create a multi-sensor device using NanoEMS, the cost savings compared to conventional MEMS become even more significant especially as different sensors require different production processes, unlike NanoEMS.”

Baolab's innovative design uses Lorentz force sensors to detect the Earth’s magnetic field. The MEMS structure, a moveable aluminium plate suspended by springs, is constructed using the metal interconnect layers of the CMOS chip by etching away the Inter Metal Dielectric (IMD) using vHF (vapour HF). When a current passes through the plate, it experiences a force (the Lorentz force) proportional to the surrounding Earth’s magnetic field. The resulting displacement is measured using capacitive detection between the moveable plate and fixed electrodes around it, sensing the magnetic field in the x, y and z directions with a single NanoEMS chip.

Hall effect sensors work well for magnetic field perpendicular to the chip (z direction) but less so in the x and y planes, and are not pure CMOS solutions as they require post processing to deposit some magnetic material on top of the wafer to increase their sensitivity (Integrated Magnetic Concentrator). This adds to the cost of manufacture, as does the additional processing required to realise compass devices from magneto-resistive technologies such as AMR and GMR (Anisotropic Magnetoresistance and Giant Magnetoresistance). Other benefits of Lorentz over Hall include lower power consumption due to the use of metallic conductors to carry the current, increased sensitivity using mechanical resonance and no magnetic saturation issues.

Until now, the Lorentz force approach has not been used extensively due to the cost of manufacture using conventional MEMS techniques, but it is perfectly suited to the mechanical structures supported by Baolab's NanoEMS. Built in a standard CMOS process flow, NanoEMS makes it possible to manufacture the devices at a fraction of the cost, opening the market for a new generation of mobile devices that take advantage of Baolab's lower cost 3D NanoCompasses.

Engineering samples of the BLBC3-D NanoCompass will be available in 2012 along with a comprehensive evaluation kit. It provides 5 degree heading resolution and 13-bits per axis. Commercial product will have an I2C or SPI digital serial interface and a choice of either a 3x3x0.9mm 10 pin DFN/0.5mm pitch package, which provides drop in compatibility with existing solutions, or a 2x2x0.75mm BGA package. Full details are at http://www.baolab.com/compass.htm

For further information on Baolab Microsystems, please go to http://www.baolab.com, E-Mail: info@baolab.com, Institut Polit├Ęcnic del Campus de Terrassa, 08220 Terrassa, Spain, Tel: +34-93-394-17-70.

Press contact for interviews and illustrations is Nigel Robson, Vortex PR, E-Mail: nigel@vortexpr.com, Tel: +44 1481 233080.

Telecom Services Witnessing Increased Adoption of Convergent Billing

The telecom market has witnessed increased demand for converged networks for running voice, data, and video on a unified channel.

London, UK - July 06, 2011 -- The telecom market has witnessed increased demand for converged networks for running voice, data, and video on a unified channel. Lower bandwidth costs and ease of maintenance are encouraging this convergence trend. This trend has also resulted in the adoption of convergent billing. However, a single bill for all services increases billing complexities. Hence, telecom operators are adopting billing solutions to effectively manage the demands of the increasing customer base. The North American telecom billing software market is expected to reach US$2.72 billion by 2014.

Heavy competition in the developed markets such as North America is driving network operators to use value added services as a revenue channel. Telecom operators are focusing further on improving the quality of communication while outsourcing operations such as billing, rating, and mediation. This is another driver for the growth of the telecom billing software especially in markets such as North America.

Key Market Trends

- IBM became the first to offer modular, standards-based solutions for customer care and billing.
- Regulatory changes in the telecom Industry in Europe led to free radio spectrum that enabled numerous small wireless vendors to enter the market.
- Exponential increase in the use of smartphones and mobile data services.

TechNavio research has worked extensively on various areas of the telecom services industry. For a complete list of reports visit http://www.technavio.com/content/telecom.

Contact:
Ludmila Berkesova
Program Manager
Infiniti Research Limited
Third Floor
33 Cavendish Square
London W1G 0PW
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 20 7031 0969
Fax: +44 84 5280 2825

Telecom Equipment Market Witnessing Increased Adoption of LTE

Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Long Term Evolution (LTE) has been witnessing greater acceptance than WiMax among end-users.

London, UK - July 06, 2011 -- Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Long Term Evolution (LTE) has been witnessing greater acceptance than WiMax among end-users. This can be attributed to its superior technology, better data transfer rates, and long term cost savings. Further, existing GSM and CDMA mobile consumers, who form a majority of the wireless consumers, have the advantage of easily upgrading to LTE networks. As a result the LTE market is expected to grow at a significant CAGR of 85 percent in the period 2010-2014.

Despite experiencing lower acceptance in comparison, the WiMax market has also been growing steadily. The increased availability of WiMAX technology has witnessed increasing demand for WiMAX enabled devices in the consumer market. WiMAX chipsets are now being integrated with laptops, handheld devices, and consumer electronics. The education sector has been a key driver for the adoption of this technology.

Key Market Trends:

- Integration of digital diagnostic interface with optical transceivers
- System engineers using Synchronous Ethernet (SyncE), IEEE 1588v2, and GPS (Global Positioning System)-based synchronization systems for precise clock synchronization in mobile networks utilizing Ethernet based microwave equipment
- North America continuing to drive demand for the transceiver market
- Increasing use of video capabilities in VoIP service

TechNavio research has worked extensively on various areas of the telecom equipment industry. For a complete list of reports visit http://www.technavio.com/content/telecom.

Contact:
Ludmila Berkesova
Program Manager
Infiniti Research Limited
Third Floor
33 Cavendish Square
London W1G 0PW
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 20 7031 0969
Fax: +44 84 5280 2825

Increased Adoption of Next Generation Network Devices

Next generation devices for data centers and cloud-based technology have been witnessing huge opportunities in the networking market.

London, UK - July 06, 2011 -- Next generation devices for data centers and cloud-based technology have been witnessing huge opportunities in the networking market. The market is driven by the need for organizations to reduce power consumption of data centers in order to lower the overall data center management costs. These next generation technologies help cut down operating expenses by more than 50 percent. Moreover, they have been providing better return on investment within the first two to three years.

The cloud-based technology on the other hand is driven by the growing need for organizations to reduce the overall IT service costs. The cloud model is enabling organizations to deploy and scale IT infrastructure resources within short time frames. Also, the pay per use model of cloud service allows end-users to substantially reduce IT capital and operational costs.

The network software market is expected to grow much faster than the hardware market, at a CAGR of 30-33 percent over the next few years.

Key Market Trends:

- Integration of improved security features in network equipment
- Emergence of SaaS-based IPS solutions
- Addition of non-signature detection capabilities to IPS solutions
- Emergence of customized network management services

TechNavio research has worked extensively on various areas of the networking industry. For a complete list of reports visit http://www.technavio.com.

Contact:
Ludmila Berkesova
Program Manager
Infiniti Research Limited
Third Floor
33 Cavendish Square
London W1G 0PW
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 20 7031 0969
Fax: +44 84 5280 2825