Inertial measurement units (IMUs) for optical image stabilization (OIS) are a new technology adopted by the main suppliers of high-end smartphones. Two main companies produce them: InvenSense and STMicroelectronics, both of whom have developed a new generation of IMU dedicated to OIS, which goes on smartphones’ motherboards. InvenSense’s latest customized version can be found in the iPhone 7 Plus, as usual.
The 6-axis IMUs are located on the motherboards of high-end smartphones and other consumer products, which constrains their size, and more importantly their power consumption.
Until recently, the main trend for OIS was to integrate a 2-axis gyro in the camera module in addition to the IMU located on the main board. But now, there is a new trend towards offering a complete mainboard IMU featuring the OIS function, and so both InvenSense and STMicroelectronics have released devices that do this.
InvenSense has been the first to integrate its OIS IMU device in an actual consumer product, with a custom version for the Apple iPhone 6. In the iPhone 7 Plus, Apple uses a new custom version of the InvenSense ICM-20600 in a 3x3mm 16-pin package compared to a 2.5x3mm 14-pin package.
STMicroelectronics has released the LSM6DSM, providing a smaller device with a footprint of 2.5x3mm. The LSM6DSM aimed to replace the former combination of the IMU LSM6DS3 and the 2-Axis gyro L2G2IS.
Ultimately, both players can offer very low cost OIS IMUs thanks to die size reduction and process optimization. Both analyzed IMUs are a combined 6-axis X, Y, Z accelerometer and gyroscope.
The devices have been analysed in two reports, which can be purchased separately or together in order to compare the technology and pricing of the main smartphone OIS IMUs, including the previous generations. The bundle features a complete comparison with technical choices, performance studies and cost estimations. It will show the differences, highlighting which is the leading-edge company in accelerometer and gyroscope design.