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InterSense Announces Breakthrough IMU Chip for Navigation and Stabilization
InterSense’s NavChip approaches fiber-optic gyro precision at MEMS IMU price points.
By Robotics Trends Staff - Filed Oct 01, 2009

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InterSense’s NavChip, the first commercially available inertial measurement unit (IMU) sensor on a chip, approaches fiber-optic gyro precision at MEMS IMU price points.

InterSense Inc., a producer of precision motion technology has unveiled 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.

About InterSense
InterSense Incorporated is a market leader in precision motion technology. Its patented Hybrid Technology tracks motion with an unmatched combination of real-time positioning, tracking and alignment capabilities, bringing higher speed and quality to visual simulation, enhanced vision and navigation applications. InterSense’s premier motion tracking products enable real-time, realistic interaction with computer graphics to enhance technical applications in training and simulation, robotics, augmented reality, 3D virtual displays, video/film/game development and production, oil and gas exploration, and medical imaging. In addition to a marquis global customer base spanning the military, industrial, entertainment, research, engineering and life sciences industries, InterSense also works with a network of software solution partners, systems integrators, value added resellers and OEM hardware partners. For more information, visit

Lauren McCarty
Racepoint Group
P:  781-487-4615

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