InterSense Inc. a market leader in precision motion technology, will unveil the NavChip OEM Developer's Kit at the Institute of Navigation's 2009 GNSS show (ION GNSS 2009). The kit includes a pre-release engineering sample of InterSense's NavChip, which is expected to become the industry's first commercial inertial measurement unit (IMU) on a surface-mount chip. The NavChip will enable advanced inertial navigation applications, including GPS/INS integration previously limited to large-scale military vehicles, to be deployed on small unmanned vehicles such as UAVs and robots. It will also allow the miniaturization of camera and antenna stabilization systems in both fixed and mobile applications. The NavChip is scheduled for full production in the first half of 2010.
At roughly the size of a penny, the NavChip employs novel MEMS technology to yield a 12-fold improvement in noise and a six-fold improvement in drift compared to previous commercial-grade MEMS IMUs. The NavChip will also offer low power consumption, a high dynamic range and the ability to be surface mounted, enabling seamless OEM integration for both navigation and stabilization.
"We developed the first IMU chip and simultaneously made dramatic performance improvements in support of applications that were previously impossible using low-cost MEMS devices," said Eric Foxlin, founder and CTO of InterSense. "The NavChip approaches fiber-optic gyro (FOG) performance in a small, commercial device, a key factor in enabling personal navigation, miniaturized GPS/INS navigation and platform stabilization. Factory calibration and temperature compensation make it easy for designers to add inertial capabilities to new or existing systems and the small footprint and low cost make it possible to bring those capabilities to very small stabilization or navigation platforms."
InterSense is now taking orders from qualified OEM partners for a limited number of NavChip Developer's Kits to be delivered in October. The OEM Developer's Kit includes an interface board with the NavChip installed, a USB cable and all necessary software and documentation for evaluation and system integration. A limited number of additional NavChip samples may be purchased by Developer's Kit customers for integration into their own board designs. Initial production is planned for early 2010, with fully-qualified NavChips available in Q2.
"The NavChip is a real game-changer," said T.C. Browne, CEO of InterSense. It drastically reduces the size, power and weight needed to obtain the precision of a tactical-grade IMU, ushering in a new era of capability in small, unmanned vehicles and facilitating cost-sensitive commercial applications in agriculture, mining, drilling, stabilization and personal navigation."
The NavChip will also be the foundation for a suite of InterSense IMUs and Attitude Heading Reference Sensors that will offer exponentially-improved inertial measurement performance in both sensor and system products to be announced in the future. For more information or to see the NavChip in action, stop by InterSense's booth, #826, at ION GNSS 2009.