One Silicon Chip Photonics

Fully Integrated Optical MEMS Angular Rate Sensor Fabricated On  75 μm Thick SOI Substrate

Fully Integrated Optical MEMS Accelerometer Fabricated On  30 μm Thick SOI Substrate

OSCP major activity is to design and manufacture a range of proprietary, high performance Silicon Photonics MEMS-based motion sensors. OSCP motion sensors use integrated micro-optics technology for measurement of acceleration or rotation of an object.

Two major families of products include: Optical MEMS Accelerometers and Optical MEMS Rate Sensors.

What are motion sensors?

An accelerometer is a device that can measure static (gravity) or dynamic (motion or vibration) acceleration forces. Main applications requiring accelerometers can be categorized as inertial or tilt sensing, vibration, and seismic.

A rate sensor is a family of gyroscopes (Coriolis Vibratory) that measures angular rate of a rotating object. In the in-plane detection case, a suspended mass is excited in one dimension and the vibration in perpendicular direction is induced by the rotation due to the Coriolis force. OSCP takes advantage of both MEMS and optical resonators to create high performance in-plane angular rate sensors.

What are the multiple advantages of integrated optical motion sensors over electrical ones?

The most important advantages of optical motion sensors compared to electrical ones (capacitive technology) are:

- Immunity to electromagnetic interference (EMI)

- Insensitivity to charging, fire, humidity and dusty environments 

or generally, resistivity to aggressive/harsh environments. For instance they can work under water. They also show higher performance and therefore lower signal noise and bias drift.

In terms of integration, the  advantage is that multiple sensors can be integrated on the same chip (using optical waveguides), allowing to extend the measurement range and accuracy. This also provides essential redundancy which makes long-term reliability, and therefore reducing the possibility of system failure. The end product exhibits orders of magnitude reduction in system mass and size. This is specifically a remarkable advantage for applications where the system is limited to mass, volume and power consumption.


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