Silicon Sensing Systems Ltd
Silicon Sensing specialises in the development and manufacture of precise, reliable and affordable MEMS gyroscopes, accelerometers and inertial systems.
With a heritage dating back over 100 years, Silicon Sensing Systems and its predecessor companies have a unique record in delivering gyroscope systems. Formed in 1910, the Sperry Gyroscope Company was set up to provide practical navigation and stabilisation systems based on the newly emerging gyroscope technology. Spinning wheel gyros were to dominate the market for the next 50-plus years until the emergence of expensive laser and fibre-optic gyros with their enhanced reliability due to their solid-state non-rotating design.
With Sperry Gyroscope being acquired by British Aerospace, Silicon Sensing Systems was founded in 1999 as a result of the newly-formed BAE Systems and a Japanese company (Sumitomo Precision Products) cooperating to develop and produce the next generation of solid-state gyroscopes, based on a silicon MEMS construction. Silicon Sensing Systems flourished, to enjoy an unrivalled reputation for the production of low-cost highly reliable gyros. It led the entry into the consumer car market, producing up to 4 million devices per year – and more than 30 million to date.
Based in Plymouth, in the southwest of the UK, Silicon Sensing is now jointly owned by UTC Aerospace Systems, co-located in Plymouth, and Sumitomo of Amagasaki, Japan. Both companies bring equal strength to the joint venture – inertial expertise from the UK/US side, and silicon MEMS fabrication from Japan.
The patented construction of its silicon MEMS gyros – based on a vibrating ring – makes the Silicon Sensing Systems gyros highly resistant to shock and vibration, greatly increasing the reliability and quality of its inertial portfolio. An in-house MEMS foundry has manufactured all of the core gyro technology since the birth of the joint venture. Amongst its unique fabrication equipment is a deep reactive-ion etching capability, developed by Silicon Sensing in Japan. In recent years, Silicon Sensing has also chosen to develop and produce a range of sophisticated accelerometers to augment its total inertial capability.
Most recently, Silicon Sensing Systems has leveraged the inherent capability of its MEMS devices to create a new range of high performance gyros and inertial systems. Sensitive enough to detect earth rotation rate, these devices enable a North-seeking capability to be offered to the market – offering performance equivalent to fibre-optic systems but at a greatly reduced price.
Specific new products now on offer include CRS09, CRS39 and CRH02 gyros (with performance better than 0.3deg/hr bias instability), plus DMU10 and DMU30 inertial measurement units. Silicon Sensing Systems has a range of highly respected inertial experts on-site in Plymouth, able to assist with requirements definition, design trade-offs, and device selection for your next system design.
Silicon Sensing Systems Ltd