Rohm Co Ltd developed a technology of mass-producing a high-sensitivity magnetometric sensor.
The technology is for an MI (magnetic impedance) sensor developed by Aichi Steel Corp, which Rohm tied up with in the field of sensor business in February 2013. It sensitivity (about 0.1 milligauss) is 10,000 times or more higher than those of magnetometric sensors using conventional Hall effect devices. Rohm applied its semiconductor manufacturing technology to Aichi Steel's sensor technology.
An MI sensor converts a magnetic field into an electric current with a wire made of amorphous metal-based magnetic material. It realizes a high accuracy, enabling to reduce the number of calculations performed for improving accuracy and, thus, drastically reduce the power consumption of an arithmetic circuit.
Rohm plans to develop applications for automobiles, industrial devices, etc and aims to sell the sensor for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers. Also, the company is considering using the sensor for medical devices because it can measure not only geomagnetism but also biomagnetism. Rohm will start to ship functional samples in November 2013.