Surface Micromachined Accelerometer: A Technology Update 910496

The measurement of acceleration has been accomplished using several technologies in high-reliability applications such as detonation, guidance control, and shock and vibration measurement. Electro-mechanical, piezoelectric, piezoresistive and capacitive acceleration sensors are available and in use today.
The application of these technologies in the automobile industry has been slow, largely due to their high cost. Today, numerous companies are working hard to develop a cost-effective, reliable and complete automotive accelerometer for use in airbag deployment, seat belt retraction, door lock control, adaptive suspensions, anti-lock brakes and traction control systems. This paper will compare and contrast the various technologies now being applied to the development of a small and cost-effective electronic accelerometer device, and report on the progress in developing a complete, monolithic, signal-conditioned accelerometer which will optimally address automotive requirements.


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