By Doug Sparks, CTO at Hanking Electronics
Microelectromechanical system (MEMS)-based inertial sensor commercialisation goes back around 50 years and has involved many interesting developments, new applications and acquisitions. Development of capacitive and piezoresistive silicon linear accelerometers began in the 1970s1. Airbags were the first high-volume application for these inertial sensors in the late 1980s and early 1990s. As with many MEMS devices, the aerospace industry led the development of angular rate sensors, also known as MEMS gyroscopes. Like the accelerometer, the automotive market provided the first high-volume applications for MEMS gyroscopes, starting in the mid-1990s2 with navigation assist, vehicle dynamic control (VDC) and roll-over protection (ROP) systems. Now, both of these sensors can be found in every smartphone, tablet, vehicle and wearable device.
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