Microchip Technology Used in Low Power Motion Sensor
A miniature motion sensor has been built using techniques found in the computer chip industry. The sensor was developed by a team of researchers at the University of Florida (Gainesville, FL; www.ufl.edu).
The sensor measures about 3 mm square and draws a very small amount of electrical power. It has the potential to operate up to one year on a standard watch battery. In addition, the sensor’s extreme sensitivity allows it to register sound as well as motion.
Micro electrical mechanical systems (MEMS) technology has reduced the size and cost of motion sensors in recent years. However, production of the tiny sensors required special manufacturing equipment. The university’s research team set out to solve this problem. The resulting single-chip sensor was made using complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology, which is the industry standard for silicon chip manufacturing.
Possible medical applications for the sensors include blood pressure and glucose monitoring.