November 2011:- Freescale Semiconductor is offering a family of automotive acceleration sensors designed to expedite development of advanced airbag systems that help save lives and protect against injuries caused by vehicle collisions. Freescale’s new Xtrinsic MMA65xxKW family of accelerometers employs intelligent sensing technologies designed for front and side crash detection that can be easily and efficiently integrated into vehicle airbag systems.

Airbag Accelerometer Sensors for Improved Vehicle SafetyThe MMA65xxKW Airbag accelerometer sensors are based on high-aspect-ratio micro-electromechanical systems (HARMEMS) technology. The MMA65xxKW family offers better resolution (precision) and a wider dynamic range than competing solutions on the market today, resulting in higher performance capabilities. Featuring a robust, streamlined in-vehicle communication system, the MMA65xxKW family has sophisticated crash detection capabilities that enable fast and dependable deployment of the total passive safety system when collisions are unavoidable.

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that airbags saved more than 25,780 lives between 1987 and 2008. As airbags become more advanced and driver and passenger safety is improved, automotive suppliers face expectations to continue improving performance while decreasing cost.

Freescale’s MMA65xxKW accelerometers are the safing sensors located in the vehicle’s main electronic control unit (ECU) if the airbag system uses satellite sensors. Satellite inertial sensors (Freescale’s MMA5xxxKW) are positioned around the perimeter of the car to detect front and side impacts. Working together, these sensors assist the vehicle in determining the optimal deployment of the airbags.

The MMA65xxKW airbag accelerometer sensors work at 105 g-range and a 12-bit data output with 18.2 LSB/g, enabling improved sensor resolution with no programming necessary by the manufacturer and wider dynamic range measurement capabilities required for smaller vehicles. Compatible with a standard serial peripheral interface (SPI) protocol, the sensors can be easily incorporated into an airbag system. They feature an arming pin function that reduces the risk of data corruption in the main crash sensor or safing sensor of the airbag system. The MMA65xxKW family incorporates either a single- or dual-axis over-damped lateral inertial sensor housed in a quad flat no-lead (QFN) package, which is designed for a smaller footprint and more flexibility for module orientation in vehicles.