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I'm in a debate with a peer who says that filtering accelerometer signals at the chip-level has nothing to do with mitigating the problem of drift

Often, additional software-level filtering is employed to smooth noise, depending on the application. But My question pertains to any filtering or processing that is happening on the chip, specifically as it pertains to drift (and not so much to smoothness of the output).

My assertion is that noise due to thermal, electrical, vibrational, and sampling jitter will invariably contribute to drift, and that this type of noise is filtered on the chip to help reduce the problem. By reading an Invensense product PDF, we know there's "signal conditioning" happening on the chip. But the documentation makes no real mention of what's going on in there. It seems to be proprietary, and reasonably so.

I don't need any proprietary information, but if anyone could speak as to whether noise filtering reduces drift, that would be tremendously helpful. It seems obvious to me, but perhaps I am mistaken.

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  • $\begingroup$ which kind of MEMS sensor are we talking about? There's different levels of integration and signal conditioning done on MEMS chips, and your friend gets more right the higher you go in that. $\endgroup$ – Marcus Müller Jan 22 at 8:01
  • $\begingroup$ We're specifically talking about the accelerometer on devices like the Invensense MPU6000 series. $\endgroup$ – K-Space Jan 22 at 8:11
  • $\begingroup$ Uff, that's a device with a position tracking inside and noise-reducing and hence drift-supprressing information fusion through plenty of signal processing. Your friend is right, you are wrong. $\endgroup$ – Marcus Müller Jan 22 at 8:13
  • $\begingroup$ So if the noise-reducing process suppresses drift, doesn't that make me right? $\endgroup$ – K-Space Jan 22 at 8:16
  • $\begingroup$ err yeah, I confused you and your friend. $\endgroup$ – Marcus Müller Jan 22 at 8:24

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