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Cutting-edge sensor performance

A world leader in sensors, VTI Technologies is hard at work developing its three-dimensional MEMS technology for optimised sensors in a variety of motion and pressuresensing applications. The current focus is on acceleration, inclination, and pressure sensors. Future developments are expected to include advanced designs for angular motion sensing.
VTI Technologies Oy

Three-dimensional Micro Electro Mechanical Systems, or 3D-MEMS, is an innovative combination of technologies for shaping silicon into three-dimensional structures, encapsulation, and contacting for easy mounting and assembly – offering excellent sensor accuracy, small unit size, and low power consumption. An advanced sensor can be fabricated in a tiny piece of silicon, capable of measuring acceleration in three orthogonal directions.

VTI's sensors are widely used in active automotive safety systems.

Using its 3D-MEMS technology, VTI Technologies can produce optimised structures for accurate inclination angle sensors, for example, to provide mechanical damping in acceleration sensors for use in environments subject to strong vibration, and high-resolution altimeters. The power requirements of these sensors are extremely low, which gives them a significant advantage in battery-operated devices.

Unique performance

When used to produce inclinometers, VTI Technologies' MEMS technology offers accuracy levels of better than 1 arc minute, compatible with the highest levelling requirements and outperforming all other MEMS technologies. This is combined with average power consumption in the microampere range, ideal for wireless applications.

No other MEMS technology can achieve accelerometer resolution in the micro-g range, making it well-suited to high-resolution seismic applications, or altimeter resolution in the centimetre range, or fluid level resolution in the micrometer range. Shock performance of 40,000g adds a further strength to VTI's 3D-MEMS technology.

Better safety and quality of life

VTI Technologies is a world leader in the design and production of silicon capacitive acceleration, inclination, and pressure sensors – and has been an established, highvolume supplier of MEMS sensors since 1991.

VTI's 3D-MEMS products are in volume use in a variety of automotive applications, such as electronic stability, anti-lock braking, and electronically controlled suspension. They are also widely used in medical applications, such as cardiac pacemakers.

Excavators, cranes, and similar equipment, together with modern levelling instruments, make use of VTI's sensors to measure inclination and/or position. New areas for products based on 3D-MEMS technology include motion and position measurement in sports and fitness applications.

> Ulf Meriheinä
(Published in High Technology Finland )