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API Journal Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Carmen Gonzalez, Liz McMillan, AppDynamics Blog

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mCube Launches iGyro™, Complete 9DoF Solution for Android™ Mobile Devices

mCube, an innovator in MEMS motion sensor technology, today announced the industry’s first software-based gyroscope optimized for Android smartphones and tablets. By enabling “virtual” gyroscope functionality on all mobile devices, mCube’s iGyro MC7010 delivers immersive, 9DoF (9 degrees of freedom) motion gaming and augmented reality experiences to phone and tablet users, while cutting the power, cost and board space in half compared to hardware-based discrete solutions.

“iGyro is a direct result of mCube’s innovations in 3D monolithic motion sensors, combined with our advanced software algorithms,” said Ben Lee, president and CEO, mCube, Inc. “By incorporating gyro functionality in our latest high resolution combo sensor, including the smallest accelerometer in the world, all of our customers can now enable their users to play sophisticated 9DoF motion games, without the expense, power consumption and high cost of hardware based 9DoF components.”

Gyroscopes were originally developed for use in military, navigation and aviation applications. The functionality is now one of three sensing devices that come standard on higher end phones. While an accelerometer measures linear acceleration of a device, a gyroscope measures the rotation rate of a device, and a magnetometer measures the earth’s magnetic field, which, combined with gravity, determines the three dimensional orientation of the device. Without a gyroscope, mobile phone users need to drag their finger on the phone’s touch screen to move in a desired direction. iGyro enables users to move within a game simply by turning, tilting or panning the device.

While the functionality of a hardware gyroscope significantly enhances the user experience for gaming on mobile devices, the cost, power consumption and board space required has limited its applicability to only the most expensive mobile products. In fact, according to a MEMS Information report, the attach rate for gyroscopes in the entire China-designed phone market is only ten percent1.

mCube’s iGyro offers the best of all worlds – a solution that delivers 9DoF sensor functionality on all mobile devices, enabling users to play sophisticated motion games, with very low power consumption, low cost and a small footprint.

1 Motion Sensor Market Development of Chinese, April 7, 2014 on MEMS Information site (www.mems.ac.cn)

Technical Features of mCube iGyro

The new mCube iGyro MC7010, virtual rotation sensor is an enhancement to mCube’s standard electronic compass hardware package. The hardware in the mCube electronic compass package provides high-rate three-axis measurements of specific force/acceleration and magnetic fields. This supports the computation of rotation rates, creating a virtual nine degrees of freedom sensor, with significantly lower power consumption and cost than a sensor package incorporating a hardware gyro.

Additional technical features of mCube’s iGyro MC7010 include:

  • High performance 9DoF orientation sensor with three-axis accelerometer, plus three-axis magnetic sensor
    • Enables motion gaming and augmented reality applications on mobile devices
    • Delivers ultimate gaming experience including first-person shooter, racing and pilot games
    • Offloads optimal rotation/orientation processing from applications
    • Drop-in replacement at the Android Application Programming Interface (API) level, providing three-axis rotation rates
  • Uses instantaneously detected device orientation and rates of change from the accelerometer and magnetometer to generate smooth and responsive gyroscope output:
    • No rotation rate bias
    • Low noise output during slow and precise movements
    • Responsive tracking during faster or larger movements
    • Provides trace distortion corrective capability
    • Runs on application processors already powering gaming and augmented reality applications

Key Feature Comparison:

                 
        mCube 9DoF iGyro MC7010       Other Discrete 9DoF Sensor Solutions
Power       0.26mA       3.6mA
Relative Cost       1x       2x
Sensor Foot Print       9mm2       22mm2
Pin Compatibility       3, 6 and 9 axis options possible with one board design (using mCube 3-axis accelerometer and 6-axis eCompass )       Needs new PCB board each for 3, 6 and 9 axis models
           

Supporting Quotes:

“The growing table market definitely needs a cost effective 9DoF solution,” said Joe Chen, GM of MediaTek Home Entertainment Business Unit. “According to an IDC report, with an available tablet market estimated to be 270.6 million units by 2014, and increasing to 386.3 million units by 2017, we believe that there is tremendous potential opportunity for mCube’s iGyro solution.”

“As the number of applications taking advantage of motion continues to explode, there is an increasing demand for 9DoF motion sensors across all mobile device segments,” said Kai Chen, General Partner at SK Telecom (China) Ventures. “mCube’s iGyro bridges the gap by bringing motion games capability to all types of phones and tablets.”

About mCube

mCube is a fabless semiconductor company enabling a new generation of motion aware consumer devices. mCube designs and develops a portfolio of highly accurate and cost-effective single-chip motion sensors utilized by consumer electronics companies to improve user interactivity and enable new motion-based applications. mCube is addressing a dynamic and rapidly growing market. For more information, visit http://www.mcube-inc.com.

Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. mCube, Inc., the mCube logo, and certain other mCube trademarks and logos are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of mCube, Inc. Android is a trademark of Google Inc. iPhone is a registered trademark of Apple Inc. All other company and product names mentioned are trademarks of their respective owners.

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