Press release #Connected mobility

MEMS sensors from Bosch enable cars to navigate without GPS

SMI230 inertial sensor improves reliability of navigation systems

  • New MEMS sensor from Bosch helps to keep on track even under poor GPS signal conditions
  • Accelerometer and gyroscope combined in a single package
  • Sensor is highly precise, stable and extremely power-efficient
Joern Ebberg

Joern Ebberg


Munich and Reutlingen, Germany – The loss of a GPS signal has brought many relaxing car trips to an abrupt end. At Munich's world-renowned electronics exhibition: electronica, Bosch today announced the new SMI230 six-axis inertial sensor. With this sensor onboard, navigation systems will not take their eye off the destination – even when the GPS signal is interrupted. The SMI230 from Bosch provides the navigation system with motion data, enabling the current position of the travelling vehicle to be determined even when the GPS signal is weak or nonexistent. Navigation systems will become even more precise and reliable.

No longer travelling blind when without GPS

Millions of car drivers today rely on GPS navigation. If a satellite signal is weak, distorted or interrupted, e.g. due to mountains, tall buildings or even tunnels, then the navigation system will lose its direction. That is when the SMI230 MEMS sensor from Bosch comes into play: it precisely measures the yaw rate and acceleration of the vehicle. In this way the onboard navigation system continuously calculates the travel direction and position while the car is moving. The navigation is not disrupted when inside a tunnel or an 'urban canyon'. The capabilities of the sensor improve not only navigation but also find their niche in fleet management, toll systems and car alarm installations. Here too, precise determination of position is essential.

Versatility brings flexibility

The SMI230 conveniently combines one three-axis MEMS accelerometer with one three-axis MEMS gyroscope in a single compact package. Both sensors run digitally in 16-bit mode based on proven MEMS technology from Bosch. Adding to this already powerful combination is the fact that the gyroscope and accelerometer can either be operated individually or interconnected for data synchronization purposes.

Accurate, stable and power efficient

The SMI230 delivers high accuracy – the prerequisite for the best-possible precision in navigation: noise is only 0.02°/s/√Hz (rms) for the gyroscope and 0.12 mg/√Hz (rms) for the accelerometer. Also, the accelerometer has rock-solid temperature stability, with a low temperature coefficient offset (TCO) of typically below 0.2 mg/K and temperature coefficient sensitivity (TCS) of only 0.002 %/K. Typical bias instability of the gyroscope is well below 2°/h.

Power consumption plays a decisive role in many applications. Therefore, the SMI230 supports three power saving modes - accelerometer: suspend mode; gyroscope: suspend mode and deep suspend mode.

Backward compatible to accelerate the development cycle

The SMI230 is pin-for-pin compatible with Bosch’s SMI130, and offers an identical gyroscope programming interface, making it fast and easy to integrate into existing platforms without any time-consuming layout re-work. The new sensor is housed in an ultra-compact 16-pin standard LGA package, measuring just 3 mm x 4.5 mm x 0.95 mm.

The sensor will be available in May 2019.

Further information:

Contact person for press inquiries:
Annett Fischer,
phone: +49 711 811-6286
Twitter: @Annett__Fischer


  • BOOTH: Tuesday to Friday, November 13–16, 2018, booth 522 in hall C3
  • FOLLOW the Bosch electronica 2018 highlights on Twitter: #BoschMEMS
    • Monday, November 12, 12:30 p.m.: presentation “Sensors enabling future mobility solutions” by Dr. Markus Sonnemann, Vice President Pre-Development MEMS sensors at Robert Bosch GmbH, electronica Automotive Conference at ICM Munich
    • Tuesday, November 13, 11:30 a.m.: presentation “MEMS – one product one process?” by Dr. Udo-Martin Gómez, Senior Vice President MEMS sensors, Robert Bosch GmbH, SEMICON Europe, Fab Management Forum at ICM Munich in room 14c
    • Tuesday, November 13, 3:00 p.m.: Automobilwoche panel discussion “electronica Talk from the Top” with Jens Fabrowsky, Executive Vice President Automotive Electronics at Robert Bosch GmbH, discovery stage in hall C6
    • Tuesday, November 13, 3:30 p.m.: presentation “MEMS Mobility Sensors for motion detection” by Michael Rupp, Senior Expert Product Management Sensors at Robert Bosch GmbH, electronica Automotive Forum in hall B4
    • Wednesday, November 14, 3:40 p.m.: presentation “The future of MEMS-based smart sensor nodes in the context of highly functional and ultra-low power IoT applications” by Dr. Ralf Schellin, Head of Product Area MEMS at Bosch Sensortec GmbH, International Congress Center (ICC)

Mobility is the largest Bosch Group business sector. In 2023, its sales came to 56.2 billion euros, or just under 60 percent of total Group sales. This makes the Bosch Group one of the leading mobility suppliers. Bosch Mobility pursues a vision of mobility that is safe, sustainable, and exciting. For its customers, the outcome is integrated mobility solutions. The business sector’s main areas of activity are electrification, software and services, semiconductors and sensors, vehicle computers, advanced driver assistance systems, systems for vehicle dynamics control, repair-shop concepts, as well as technology and services for the automotive aftermarket. Bosch is synonymous with important automotive innovations, such as electronic engine management, the ESP anti-skid system, and common-rail diesel technology.

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 429,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2023). The company generated sales of 91.6 billion euros in 2023. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. With its business activities, the company aims to use technology to help shape universal trends such as automation, electrification, digitalization, connectivity, and an orientation to sustainability. In this context, Bosch’s broad diversification across regions and industries strengthens its innovativeness and robustness. Bosch uses its proven expertise in sensor technology, software, and services to offer customers cross-domain solutions from a single source. It also applies its expertise in connectivity and artificial intelligence in order to develop and manufacture user-friendly, sustainable products. With technology that is “Invented for life,” Bosch wants to help improve quality of life and conserve natural resources. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 470 subsidiary and regional companies in over 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing, engineering, and sales network covers nearly every country in the world. Bosch’s innovative strength is key to the company’s further development. At 136 locations across the globe, Bosch employs some 90,000 associates in research and development, of which nearly 48,000 are software engineers.

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