By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Electronics Newsweekly -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventors Coronato, Luca (Corsico, IT); Cazzaniga, Gabrielle (Rosate, IT); Caminada, Carlo (Pregnana Milanese, IT); Santoro, Manuel (Milan, IT); Prandi, Luciano (Bellinzago Novarese, IT); Kondylis, Demetre (Saratoga, CA), filed on June 8, 2015, was made available online on October 1, 2015.
The patent's assignee is Maxim Integrated Products, Inc.
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "A. Technical Field
"Specific embodiments of the invention pertain to gyroscopes or gyroscope devices and/or methods and systems for quadrature error compensation, for example, in gyroscopes or gyroscope devices.
"B. Background of the Invention
"A problem to be solved exists in gyroscope devices in the occurrence of quadrature errors. A quadrature error, for example, can be an interfering signal superimposed on a useful rotation rate signal.
"Quadrature errors are caused by inaccuracies and asymmetries in the geometry of the moving mass of the gyroscope. The amplitude of such a quadrature error can be 10 to 100 times the typical gyroscope full deflections.
"The quality of the gyroscope device is influenced by the quadrature error, for example, in the following parameters: dynamic range of the charge amplifier output noise and/or temperature deviations of the null rate level.
"Methods and devices for compensation of quadrature errors are known, for example, from documents U.S. Pat. No. 6,067,858, EP1752733A2, US2006/0213265A1 and US 2010/0132461A1. It is proposed in all these documents to influence the real movement of the driven mass, which might deviate from the ideal movement because of quadrature error of the sensor, so that it corresponds as much as possible to the ideal movement.
"Additional restrictions and shortcomings of conventional and traditional approaches are disclosed to one with average skill in the art by a comparison of such methods and systems with some aspects of the present invention, as are described in the rest of the present application and the drawings."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "The present invention concerns a method for compensation of a quadrature error on an MEMS sensor, which is intended to detect movements of a substrate, especially accelerations and/or rotation rates. At least one mass arranged on the substrate and mounted to move relative to it is driven by means of drive electrodes. The mass/es execute a movement deviating from the prescribed movement owing to a quadrature error. A deflection of the mass/es occurring because of Coriolis force and quadrature error is detected with detection electrodes.
"The quadrature error caused, for example, by small design tolerances in production of the sensor and/or non-uniform temperature expansion means that the moving mass deviates from its ideal theoretically stipulated movement direction. Signals are generated in the detection electrodes because of this, which overlap the signals for detecting accelerations or rotation rates of the sensor and prevent correct detection.
"It is proposed according to the invention that a capacitance change be detected as a function of the drive movement of the mass/es by means of compensation electrodes. A compensation charge dependent on the quadrature error of the MEMS sensor, especially proportional to the quadrature error, is generated on the compensation electrodes. The distorted or incorrect charge generated in the detection electrodes by the quadrature error is compensated with the compensation charge for compensation.
"It is essential here that the compensation charge be added only to the detected distorted or incorrect charge without changing the deviating movement of the mass/es caused by the quadrature error. The incorrect movement is retained and only compensation of the detected charge occurs with the compensation charge. In contrast to this, it is always proposed in the prior art that the movement of the mass be influenced so that it largely corresponds to the ideal movement and a more or less correct signal is generated on the detection electrodes. In the present invention, on the other hand, neither the movement of the mass nor the charge on the detection electrodes is influenced by compensation. Compensation only occurs later, namely after detection of the incorrect signal. The incorrect signal is compensated and not the movement of the mass.
"It is particularly advantageous if the charge generated in the detection electrodes by the quadrature error and the compensation charge essentially fully cancel each other out. The effect of the quadrature error is therefore completely eliminated and the most accurate measurement result is obtained.
"To generate a compensation charge a predetermined voltage dependent on the quadrature error of the MEMS sensor is advantageously applied to the compensation electrodes.
"If the compensation charge and the charge of the detection electrodes in an advantageous embodiment of the invention are superimposed one on the other, a new signal consisting of both signals is present, which has compensated for the quadrature error and corresponds to a virtual ideal movement.
"If the already superimposed charge in an advantageous embodiment is fed to evaluation electronics, charge signals that compensate for the actual movement deviation of the mass and therefore simulate an ideal movement are sent to the evaluation electronics assigned to the sensor. The compensation charge and the fraction of the detected charge caused by the quadrature error mutually cancel each other out so that only the value that would be detected during an ideal movement is sent. The evaluation device or electronics in this case merely reports an already compensated signal.
"In another advantageous embodiment of the invention both the compensation charge and the charge of the detection electrodes are fed to evaluation electronics and further processed there. Superposition therefore only occurs in this evaluation electronics. The evaluation electronics or device in this case receives the signal of the compensation charge, on the one hand, and also the signal of the actually detected detection charge. The two signals are then further processed in the electronics to compensate for the quadrature error.
"It is particularly advantageous that the compensation charge is regulated as a function of quadrature error. Regulation can directly act on an altered quadrature error and change the compensation signal accordingly. This is advantageous in extremely precisely operating sensors or sensors that might change over time, for example, from extreme temperature changes, which influence the quadrature error.
"If the quadrature error of the MEMS sensor and/or the voltage dependent on the quadrature error in an advantageous embodiment is determined right after production of the MEMS sensor, the error present for this special MEMS sensor can be established very simply and a fixed compensation voltage incorporated for this error.
"The quadrature error of the MEMS sensor and/or the voltage dependent on the quadrature error is advantageously determined during operation of the MEMS sensor. The compensation voltage could then be changed, as required, for example, when a fixed tolerance is surpassed.
"An MEMS sensor according to the invention is used to detect movements of a substrate, especially accelerations and/or rotation rates. It has a substrate and at least one mass arranged on the substrate and at least one mass mounted to move relative to this substrate and driven by means of drive electrodes. At least one fixed detection electrode is arranged on the substrate, which cooperates with at least one electrode arranged on the mass to detect a deflection of the mass due to Coriolis force and a quadrature error. A device for compensation of the quadrature error is also provided. The device for compensation of the quadrature error has at least one compensation electrode arranged fixed on the substrate, which cooperates with at least one electrode arranged on the mass to detect a capacitance change as a function of the drive movement of the mass/es. A voltage source is also provided, which applies a predetermined voltage dependent on the quadrature error to the compensation electrodes to generate a compensation charge. Moreover, a connection exists between the compensation electrodes and the detection electrodes and/or the compensation electrodes and an evaluation device to compensate for the charge generated by the quadrature error in the detection electrode with the compensation charge. The detection electrodes and an evaluation device are also connected to each other in order to be able to send their signals to the evaluation device or electronics.
"The MEMS sensor is equipped accordingly so that it can send either a single already compensated signal or a specified charge of the electrodes to the evaluation electrodes. As an alternative or in addition it sends two signals to the evaluation electronics, namely a signal of the compensation device, on the one hand, and a signal of the detection electrodes, on the other, which is still distorted because of a quadrature error.
"If the evaluation device or electronics has a regulation device, the MEMS sensor can advantageously be operated very precisely. Changes occurring during operation of the sensor and which can have an effect on the quadrature error are also allowed for by this. Compensation of the quadrature error can therefore be modified and adapted.
"The MEMS sensor is advantageously a one- or multidimensional sensor. Both one- or multidimensional acceleration sensors and also one- or multidimensional rotation rate sensors or combinations thereof can be equipped with quadrature error compensation according to the invention. A compensation device is preferably provided for each detection dimension being compensated. However, compensation devices that produce a compensation signal for several dimensions can also be arranged on the MEMS sensor.
"The electrodes of the compensation device are advantageously provided to detect and evaluate the drive movement and/or to drive the mass/es. A very compact and relatively inexpensive sensor can therefore be created.
"A system and/or method are proposed for quadrature error compensation, especially as shown and/or described in conjunction with at least one of the figures and also in the claims. These and other advantages, aspects and new features of the present invention, as well as details of a practical example of this, are further explained in the following description and drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
"FIG. ('FIG.') 1 is a depiction showing how a quadrature error occurs in a capacitive gyroscope.
"FIG. 2 is a depiction showing how detection is read out.
"FIG. 3 is a depiction showing a proposed solution for quadrature signal compensation in conjunction with a practical example of the invention.
"FIG. 4 is a depiction showing detection readout with quadrature signal compensation in conjunction with one embodiment.
"FIG. 5 is a depiction showing quadrature signal compensation with a closed control loop conjunction with an embodiment of the invention."
For additional information on this patent application, see: Coronato, Luca; Cazzaniga, Gabrielle; Caminada, Carlo; Santoro, Manuel; Prandi, Luciano; Kondylis, Demetre. Method and System for Quadrature Error Compensation. Filed June 8, 2015 and posted October 1, 2015. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=3919&p=79&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20150924.PD.&OS=PD/20150924&RS=PD/20150924
Keywords for this news article include: Electronics, Maxim Integrated Products Inc.
Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2015, NewsRx LLC