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Asahi Kasei Microdevices Launches New 3-axis Electronic Compass for Mobile Devices

Tokyo, July 23, 2012 (JCN) - Asahi Kasei Microdevices (AKM) has launched its latest 3-axis electronic compass for portable appliances, the AK8963C. Electronic compasses measure geomagnetism to determine azimuth. This is used for electronic map applications such as pedestrian navigation systems to rotate the map to match the direction the users are facing.

Since its launch of the world's first 3-axis electronic compass for portable appliances, the AK8970, in 2003, AKM has continued to develop its leading-edge technologyfor successive product improvements.

In addition to their superior hardware performance, AKM's electronic compasses feature highly functional software for automatic calibration. This groundbreaking software enables the compass to automatically adjust for calculation errors that are introduced by other magnetic parts within the portable device.

AKM also provides device manufacturers with a rich array of technical support and service, including evaluation systems, to help make the most of the combined hardware and software solution.

These many advantages have been widely recognized throughout the industry, and AKM's electronic compasses are widely adopted in mobile phones, smartphones, and tablet devices, gaining a dominant market share worldwide.

The AK8963C consists of AKM's one-chip electronic compass architecture with a 3-axis magnetic sensor comprising Si monolithic Hall elements and a magnetic concentrator. This provides better performance than a traditional multi-chipmodule configuration in which even slight orthogonal errors during module assembly have a critical effect.

With the Si monolithic architecture, the three Hall elements are manufactured directly on a single silicon substrate. Together with the magnetic concentrator, this enables mapping of geomagnetism data in three dimensional vectors for analysis.

The simpler processing and assembly of this architecture not only eliminates orthogonal imprecision but also enables efficient mass production using conventional semiconductor manufacturing equipment to maintain stable supply even as demand grows rapidly.

The package size of the AK8963C is reduced to approximately 53% of AKM's previous product, the AK8975B/C, making it the world's thinnest and smallest class size. The new unit also features the widest measurement range of any electronic compass in the world, extending the range of the AK8975B/C by a factor of four.

By Saroj Shrestha Staff Writer

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