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How to Choose a MEMS Capacitive Accelerometer Module

The team at Silicon Designs has learned, from our chats with the numerous customers we help every day, that the process of selecting a MEMS capacitive accelerometer can be much like that of purchasing a new car. Many factors can determine the right model for your requirements. The right choice becomes obvious, once an end-user can identify how, what, where, and why it is needed. The following questions should help to pinpoint the right accelerometer for your circumstances.

What is the frequency of your application?  Establish if a MEMS capacitive accelerometer is the best tool for you.

  • Do you need to measure static acceleration or something slow-moving?  That's 0 Hz or DC acceleration. If yes, SDI accelerometers are a fit.

  • Do you need to measure low-to-medium frequencies, ranging anywhere between 0 Hz and ~2500 Hz? If yes, SDI accelerometers are a fit.

  • Do you need to measure frequencies above ~2500 Hz?  If yes, then you need a piezoresistive or piezoelectric accelerometer. SDI would not be a fit.

 

How many axes of movement (i.e., orthogonal directions) are you measuring? This determines the configuration of your SDI accelerometer.

 

What is your intended G-range? Identify how much force your accelerometer application will see. You'll want one that covers the whole G-range.

  • Is it a light tap, or tiny movement, like seismic activity? If yes, SDI recommends the selection of a lower g-range accelerometer, like a ±2G or ±5G.

  • Is it swooping around, like a rocket-powered roller coaster?  If yes, SDI recommends the selection of a ±25G or ±50G accelerometer model.

  • Is it smashing into something?  If yes, SDI recommends the selection of higher G-range accelerometer model, like a ±200G or ±400G.

  • Is it a low G-range measurement but also high frequency? If yes, then you'll need a higher G-range model. Check HERE for the frequency chart.

 

How brutal is your environment?  Make sure your accelerometer can withstand the conditions around it.

  • Is it something you could personally withstand without special gear?  Save money, by considering the selection of a Low-Cost Universal Module.

  • Is it extra hot or cold?  If yes, SDI recommends a High Performance model with upgraded Bias & Scale Factor Coefficients.

  • Is it extra humid or high pressure? If yes, SDI recommends a Specialty Hermetic model in a titanium case.

  • Take a look at our Module Comparison Chart to help further identify the right module for your application.

 

Are there size, or mass, constraints? Single axis modules are offered in two unique sizes for ease of installation within space-constrained environments.

  • If Yes: consider the selection of a smaller footprint module, like Silicon Designs Models 2260, 2266, and 2276.

  • If No: save money, by considering the selection of Silicon Designs Models 2210 and 2220.

 

Do you need to move things around, tend to destroy cables, or need a long cable length?  Choose between connectors or integrated cables.

  • If No, an integrated cable will work beautifully. Save money, by considering selection of Silicon Designs Models 2210, 2220, 2260, 2460, and 2470.

  • If Yes, you would be better off with a detachable cable. Consider connector-based Models 2266, 2276, 2466, and 2476, and use of a separate cable.

  • If Yes, but... you want a longer integrated cable. No problem, we can build them with long cables, with minimum custom build lot size of 10 pieces.

  • Take a look at our Module Comparison Chart to identify the right Silicon Designs MEMS capacitive accelerometer module for your application.

What is your power supply like?  This is important, as MEMS capacitive accelerometers require power to work.

  • Can you supply something between 8 and 32 VDC?  If Yes, SDI recommends the specification of one of our Universal Modules.

  • Do you have a strict 5 VDC power source.  If yes, SDI recommends the specification of one of our specialty low-power Models 2012 and 2422.