MEMS barometric pressure sensor could be used for watches or phones

A compact MEMS pressure sensor was introduced by EPCOS AG at electronica & Productronica 2009 in Shanghai, China. At 1.7 x 1.7 x 0.9 mm3, the pressure sensor is said to be 'many times smaller than comparable competitor products', allowing it to be integrated into portable electronics devices. For example, it could be used to enable portable navigation devices, watches and mobile phones to measure air pressure and/or altitude above sea level.

The MEMS-version T5000 is a surface mount device that is said to be well suited to integration in mass-market products that require highly automated production processes. EPCOS also has a conventionally packaged sensor variant – the ASB1200E SMD pressure sensor. This has a 3 x 3 mm2 footprint and features a gel-protected stainless steel pressure port. EPCOS envisions that it will enable further miniaturisation of barometric applications that are exposed to high humidity.

The T5000 and ASB1200E sensors boast absolute pressure measurement of 300 to 1200 mbar and cover a measurement range of 20 mV/V/bar. At the heart of the both devices is a piezo-resistive MEMS sensor chip made by Aktiv Sensor, a wholly owned subsidiary of EPCOS.

Samples of the T5000 and ASB1200E are now available. Meanwhile, the company says that near-future developments will include a pressure sensor with integrated temperature compensation and a digital interface.

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