Bosch MEMS sensors

World market leader in micromechanical systems

  • Micromechanical sensors are a key technology for the internet of things
  • Every second smartphone worldwide features Bosch sensors
  • Myriad possible applications in cars, smartphones, game consoles, and the smart home

Equipped with delicate structures much finer than a human hair, sensors detect the world around them. They transmit the information they collect over the internet in an energy-efficient way, making them a key technology for the connected world.

Stuttgart – MEMS sensors (microelectric mechanical systems) are an essential element of the connected world. Just a few millimeters in size, they contain delicate microscopic structures made of silicon. The sensors use these structures to measure acceleration, air pressure, the geomagnetic field, sound, yaw rate, temperature, humidity, and air quality. Objects without their own electronics, such as doors or windows, can be equipped with a tiny, energy-efficient radio interface and a small battery so they can register their environment and become part of the internet of things. Bosch is the world leader in MEMS sensors and has manufactured five billion of them since launching production 20 years ago.

Sensors enable smartphones to feel
MEMS sensors are the eyes and ears of many mobile devices. They help smartphones or tablets to recognize their location in space, meaning how they are being held and how they should rotate the view on the display for the user. Tiny MEMS microphones record sound and speech. The sensors also find application in notebooks, smart watches, game consoles, and sports watches. Machines can be fitted with sensors as well. These register information on the machines’ operating condition and can identify changes and deviations that might indicate problems. This information can be sent anywhere in the world over the internet. Sensors, batteries, and transmitters can now be combined in single units that are so small, energy-efficient, and inexpensive that they can be put to work in their billions. At the same time, data networks are accessible from almost everywhere.

World premiere: environment sensor measures air pressure, moisture, temperature, and air quality
At the CES 2015, Bosch presented the world’s first MEMS sensor that measures air pressure, moisture, ambient temperature, and air quality. All of its functions are contained in a single housing that measures just 3x3 millimeters. This opens up many new functions for mobile devices or other objects; for example, measuring the air quality in a room, or having a personalized weather station on your smartphone that automatically adjusts the heating or air conditioning at your house. For indoor navigation, such sensors can send information to the floor that the device is located on, helping users find a particular store in a shopping center more quickly. The sensors are also used in fitness trackers, a popular way to measure how many steps users take or how many stairs they climb each day.

Sensor technology for safe and secure transport
Individual products aren’t the only things that can be connected via sensors and enhanced through additional services. Sensors can also help optimize business processes, such as logistics. They can determine how many spare parts are on hand and report the information over the internet to a server. This makes it possible to trigger and process resupply orders automatically. Meanwhile, acceleration sensors affixed to delicate machinery help ensure that the devices are not exposed to any vibrations during transport. In addition, if a crate fitted with such a sensor falls to the ground, the sensor can send an alert by e-mail so that the goods can be examined for possible damage.

Tags: sensors, Sensors, CES 2015, Mems Sensors

About Bosch

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 410,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2018). According to preliminary figures, the company generated sales from operations of 77.9 billion euros in 2018. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. As a leading IoT company, Bosch offers innovative solutions for smart homes, smart cities, connected mobility, and connected manufacturing. It uses its expertise in sensor technology, software, and services, as well as its own IoT cloud, to offer its customers connected, cross-domain solutions from a single source. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to deliver innovations for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.” The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiary and regional companies in 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing, engineering, and sales network covers nearly every country in the world. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. At 125 locations across the globe, Bosch employs some 69,500 associates in research and development.

The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering.” The special ownership structure of Robert Bosch GmbH guarantees the entrepreneurial freedom of the Bosch Group, making it possible for the company to plan over the long term and to undertake significant upfront investments in the safeguarding of its future. Ninety-two percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation. The majority of voting rights are held by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, an industrial trust. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by the trust. The remaining shares are held by the Bosch family and by Robert Bosch GmbH.

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