Ceramic GyroTM


Piezoelectric gyroscopes are sensors which use piezoelectric oscillators to capture the rotational movements of objects, and are essential for compensating for hand shaking in video and digital still cameras.
The principle of piezoelectric gyroscopes is the same as that of the Foucault pendulum. A piezoelectric element vibrates a rod, which causes it to work as a pendulum. Then, the Coriolis force that occurs when movement is applied is extracted after it is converted into voltage by the piezoelectric element.



A feature of the NEC TOKIN Ceramic Gyro is that the vibrating element is made up of a cylindrical piezoelectric ceramic oscillator rod. On this rod, six electrodes are printed and polarized. This structure is as effective as that of a rod carrying three piezoelectric elements. When voltage is applied to the piezoelectric ceramic oscillator rod, it torsionally vibrates. When the rod rotates, it outputs voltages in proportion to the rotational velocity.
The greatest advantage of the structure of the oscillator--a cylindrical ceramic rod--is that it can easily be processed with high accuracy. When conventional square-shape rods were used, it was difficult to accurately make the thickness and horizontal width, as well as the lengthwise and crosswise proportions uniform. On the other hand, high accuracy can be achieved with rods because they can be processed while they are rolled; therefore they are highly effective in downsizing elements with high performance.
In fact, the CG-L53, our flagship gyroscope, employs a downsized ceramic rod with a thickness of 0.8 mm and a length of 9 mm. Since Ceramic Gyro are highly sensitive to movement, they can detect a wide range of movement from low-speed rotation (0.1° per sec.) to high-speed rotation (1500° per sec.).




The NEC TOKIN Ceramic Gyro has so far been widely used as sensor devices for stabilizing the images of video cameras. However, the downsizing of the gyro has opened the way to new applications--one of which is the application of the gyro to digital still cameras.
Digital still cameras are one of the new three sacred treasures of digital consumer electronics. Many people are interested in them. Recently, image stabilizing systems are being highlighted in them. Since compact and stylish bodies are required for them, downsized piezoelectric gyroscopes that take up little space are indispensable to realizing an added value, image stabilization.

Image stabilizing systems will continuously be highlighted. In the foreseeable future, Camera module for cellular phones will have an image stabilizing system.
Since our Ceramic Gyro contributes to the downsizing of products, we will provide it for the image stabilizing systems of various camera devices.



In addition, Ceramic Gyro are being employed in game software cartridges; this is a brand-new application.
Nintendo provides game software, "Wario Ware Twisted!", for Game Boy Advance. Unlike other conventional games, this game software enables the user to enjoy various mini games while the game machine is held and rotated right and left. This is an unprecedented game system and highly esteemed in the game industry. The game itself is sensorial and enjoyable.
The sensor of "Wario Ware Twisted!" employs our Ceramic Gyro. The downsized and high-performance gyro is a key device for realizing this enjoyable game. In sum, it can be said that our Ceramic Gyro has opened a new possibility in the field of games.

Our Ceramic Gyro is also used for 3D motion sensors. Since 3D motion sensors contain three Ceramic GyroTM, the use of our latest miniature gyros has drastically downsized the capacity of the sensors from 30 cc to 6 cc.
This means that the 3D motion sensors containing the miniature gyros can easily be used for robots and virtual reality systems.
Furthermore,Ceramic Gyro are used for the attitude control systems of radio-controlled cars and helicopters.
Our Ceramic Gyro, downsized and high-performance gyroscopes, will be used in various fields in the future.