Friday, May 1, 2009

"HARDWARE: InvenSense spins first pitch-and-yaw MEMS gyro"

Creating a new category of 3-D motion sensor is a micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) chip invented at InvenSense--the brainchild of MEMS pioneer and company founder Steve Nasiri. By detecting the natural motions made by remote control users, including both those for TVs and other consumer devices like game consoles, the new MEMS chip from InvenSense is bound to be a winner. Nintendo has already designed in an InvenSense MEMS gyro for its forthcoming MotionPlayer controller for the Wii, but the newer motion sensor from the company will enable even more intuitive and agile controller. Look for widespread use of the new chip within a year, and watch for copy-cat annoucements even sooner as other MEMS chip makers rush to play catch-up ball.-R.C.J.
What is claimed as the world's first pitch-and-yaw MEMS gyroscope is said to be able to sense the two axes used by remote controls and baton-shaped game controllers like the Wii. The MEMS gyro chip developed by InvenSense Inc. will be used in the upcoming Wii MotionPlayer accessory. At least two chips, one mounted in-plane and one mounted vertically, are required to create a pitch-and-yaw sensor, but developer InvenSense said its ring-shaped mechanical beam enables a completely planar MEMS chip to sense both motions used in Wii-like controllers.