At the recent MEMS Executive Congress, Bosch Automotive announced a new 6-axis automotive IMU. It’s not for use as part of the automotive control systems, but rather for the “infotainment” infrastructure – the so-called center stack – and other non-safety-critical applications.
It may not be obvious that Bosch has two different sensor groups. There’s an automotive group which focuses strictly on – you guessed it – cars; then there’s Bosch Sensortec, which handles other consumer and industrial sensors. (There’s also Bosch Akustica for microphones.) So… does this mean that Bosch Automotive is off in its private silo inventing its own sensors independently of Bosch Sensortec?
No; according to them, the automotive market actually isn’t large enough compared to phones and other consumer goods to justify that. The IMU that Bosch Automotive has announced actually came from Bosch Sensortec. Does this mean that it’s just a rebranding of an old part?
No; the automotive units have more stringent operating requirements than a consumer unit has. Just going to 125 °C from 85 isn’t trivial. There are also corrosion concerns and the fact that the IMUs must interface with automotive diagnostic systems.
Corrosion can presumably be handled with packaging. Calibration and linearization over a higher temperature range involve changes to the ASIC. The diagnostic interface also resides in the ASIC. So, in reality, we have a Bosch Sensortec IMU with a new ASIC and package.
You can find out more in their release.