MPU9250 9-DOF MEMS Sensor Module Interfacing with Arduino

MPU9250 is a multi-tasking sensor module based on MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical Systems) architecture. It is a product by Asahi Kasei Microdevices Corporation. The MPU9250 is a 9-axial Motion Tracking device with a 3-Dimensional gyroscope, 3-Dimensional magnetometer, and a 3-Dimensional accelerometer embedded into an ultra-compact IC. The high-performance IC has 16-bit resolution analog-to-digital Converters. The sensitive module also has a VDDIO, an inbuilt temperature sensor, and an auxiliary I2C interface data transmission with non-inertial sensors.

MPU9250 Introduction

The 9-DOF Sensor module comes with an I2C interface with a data rate of 400 kHz. A Serial Peripheral Interface for fast mode with a rate of up to 20 MHz is provided in the module. It also has frame synchronization. The MPU9250 finds its applications in most of the intelligent electronics consumer products in one way or the other. Virtual Reality gaming is the perfect application of MPU9250 9-DOF MEMS Sensor module.

This tutorial will share the pin configuration, features, specification, interfacing, and applications.

MPU9250 9-DOF MEMS Sensor Module

MPU9250 Components

MPU9250 9-DOF MEMS Sensor Module components

The MEMS Sensor module consists of MPU9250, I/O Headers, Pull-up Resistors, LDO, and Decoupling Capacitors.

MPU9250 chip: The IC is integrated with an accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer and does all the processing.

I/O Headers: The headers will serve the purpose of connectivity and data transmission with the microcontroller unit.

Pull-up Resistors: The pull resistors are placed for I2C Bus to source current and establish a default state.

LDO: LDO voltage regulator is provided to reduce the voltage to 3.3V for the IC functioning and increase power efficiency.

Decoupling Capacitors: The decoupling capacitors remove the unwanted noise from the signals.

Internal Circuit Diagram

MPU9250 9-DOF MEMS Sensor Module internal circuit diagram

MPU9250 Pinout

The following diagram shows the pinout of the MPU 9250 9-DOF MEMS Sensor Module:

MPU9250 9-DOF MEMS Sensor Module pinout diagram

Pin Configuration

MPU9250 9-DOF MEMS Sensor Module has a total of 10 pins. The pin configuration detail in tabular is mentioned below:

Pin NameFunction
Pin NameFunction
INTInterrupt pin
ECLI2C Master Serial Clock for external sensors connection pin
AD0/SDOI2C Address/Serial data out pin
FSYNCFrame Synchronization input pin
VCCPower supply pin
GNDGround pin
EDAI2C Serial Data input for external sensors connection pin
nCSChip selection pin
SCL/SCLKI2C Serial Clock/SPI Serial Clock pin
SDA/SDII2C Serial Data/SPI Serial Data pin

MPU9250 Features and Specifications

Following are some of the features of the MPU 9-DOF MEMS Sensor Module:

Features and PeripheralsAvailability
SPI Data Rate1 Mhz
SPI Fast Data Reading Rate20 Mhz
I2C Data Rate400 kHz
Shock tolerance10,000g
FIFO buffer512 Bytes
Auxiliary I2C interface1
Operating Voltage2.4-3.6 Volts
Operating Current3.5mA
Digital Output Temperature SensorYes
User-Programmable Digital FiltersYes
Package TypeQFN

Detailed Features

Some of the useful features MPU 9-DOF MEMS Sensor Module are listed below:

  • It has a triple-axis MEMS gyroscope, accelerometer, and magnetometer
  •  Digital-output accelerometer full-scale range: ±2g, ±4g, ±8g, and ±16g
  • Digital-output 3-Axis Gyroscope full-scale range:±250, ±500, ±1000, and ±2000°/sec
  • Hall-effect Magnetometer full-scale measurement range: ±4800µT
  • It comes with triple pair of three 16-bit Analog-to-Digital Converters
  • The module has a user-programmable low-pass filter and wake-on-motion interrupt to operate in low power mode
  • Gyroscope operating current: 3.2mA
  • Accelerometer Operating current: 450µA
  • Magnetometer Operating current: 280µA
  •  Magnetometer Repetition Rate: 8Hz
  • Sleep mode operating current: 8µA 
  • Magnetometer output data resolution: 14-bit (0.6µT/LSB) 
  • The module has I2C, SPI and an additional Auxiliary I2C interface.
  • It is embedded with a Self-test function to diagnose the operations of the module to ensure its proper functioning.

MPU9250 Interfacing with Arduino

This section deals with the interfacing of an Arduino microcontroller to the MPU 9-DOF MEMS Sensor Module. MPU 9-DOF MEMS Sensor Module interfaces with any microcontroller using an I2C bus. In this section, we will see how to use MPU9250 with Arduino.

Almost all Arduino modules supports at least one I2C communication port. Therefore, you can use any Arduino module. Now let’s see how to interface Arduino with MPU9250 module.

Connection Diagram

For the interface, connect the power supply pins and SDA, SCL pins of both the components according to the connection diagram shown below:

MPU9250 9-DOF MEMS Sensor Module interfacing Arduino
  • Connect the power supply pins of the module to the ground and 5Volts pin of the Arduino.
  • Connect the SDA and SCL pins of the Sensor module to any of the analog pins of the Arduino for serial data communication.
  • Make sure to use long jumpers to avoid disturbance because we would rotate the module three-dimensionally to observe the result.
Arduino UnoMPU9250

MPU9250 Arduino Code

For the MPU9250 code for Arduino, we will use an Arduino library. First, let’s see how to install the MPU9250 library in Arduino IDE.

Install MPU9250 Library

First, download the MPU9250 and install it to the Arduino IDE. Restart the Arduino IDE. It is easy to use the library written specifically for the module. After installation, include the library to sketch the code. Download the zip file of MPU9250 then follow these steps to install the library: Sketch >Include Library> Add .ZIP Library.

To see the example codes follow these steps: File>Examples>MPU9250_Master.

The library has six example codes i.e.

  • Advanced_I2C
  • Basic_I2C
  • Basic_SPI
  • Interrupt_SPI
  • WOM_I2C

Example Code

#include "MPU9250.h"

// an MPU9250 object with the MPU-9250 sensor on I2C bus 0 with address 0x68
MPU9250 IMU(Wire,0x68);
int status;

void setup() {
  // serial to display data
  while(!Serial) {}

  // start communication with IMU 
  status = IMU.begin();
  if (status < 0) {
    Serial.println("IMU initialization unsuccessful");
    Serial.println("Check IMU wiring or try cycling power");
    Serial.print("Status: ");
    while(1) {}

void loop() {
  // read the sensor
  // display the data
  Serial.print("AccelX: ");
  Serial.print("	");
  Serial.print("AccelY: ");  
  Serial.print("	");
  Serial.print("AccelZ: ");  
  Serial.print("GyroX: ");
  Serial.print("	");
  Serial.print("GyroY: ");  
  Serial.print("	");
  Serial.print("GyroZ: ");  

  Serial.print("MagX: ");  
  Serial.print("	");  
  Serial.print("MagY: ");
  Serial.print("	");
  Serial.print("MagZ: ");  
  Serial.print("Temperature in C: ");

Code Explanation

Include Library

To program a code in Arduino, the first is always to add the header files. Include the concerned header file, to interface the MPU9250 9-DOF MEMS Sensor Module to the Arduino. It has already written codes for reading the values of the accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer. Through these inbuilt codes, it will take in, process, and output the acceleration, angle, and magnetic field to determine the position and orientation of the module.

IMU Object

An object “IMU” is created with an address i.e. 0x68 on the I2C Bus. It is done with the help of the MPU9250 sensor to store and act on the data and return the respective measurements.

void Setup

The void setup block executes two conditions. First, it initializes the Serial monitor at a baud rate of 11520 bps. If the Serial monitor does not launch and no values are displayed then the execution cycle halts and the code will be stopped. Next a variable “status” is declared that checks the status of the IMU object. If the status is less than 0 i.e no voltage is received then the Serial monitor will display the messages “IMU initialization unsuccessful”, “Check IMU wiring or try cycling power” and then prints the value stored in status. As this is a forever condition because of the while(1) statement , the code will not go further unless the status value is greater than 0.

void loop

The execution cycle enters the void loop block when the status of IMU is more than 0. The loop will read the IMU through readSensor(). They read the values of the accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer.

The value of acceleration in mG in x-axis, y-axis and z-axis is read through getAccelX_mss(), getAccelY_mss() and getAccelZ_mss() respectively and displayed in Serial monitor. The value will be displayed upto 6 decimal places.

The measurement of angle in radians per second in x-axis, y-axis and z-axis is read through getGyroX_rads(), getGyroY_rads() and getGyroZ_rads() respectively and displayed in Serial monitor. The value will be displayed up to 6 decimal places as well.

Similarly, the value of magnetic field strength in Tesla in x-axis, y-axis and z-axis is read through getMagX_uT(), getMagY_uT() and getMagZ_uT() respectively and displayed in the Serial monitor. The value will also be displayed up to 6 decimal places.

Finally, it will get the value of temperature through getTemperature_C() up to 6 decimal places.

Upload the code on the Arduino UNO. The MEMS Sensor module will take up the values. As soon as the Serial monitor is launched, the position and orientation is displayed like

  •  “AccelX    AccelY:    AccelZ:    ”
  •  “GyroX:    GyroY:    GyroZ:    ”
  •  “MagX:    MagY:    MagZ:”
  •  “Temperature in C:  ”

Rotate the sensor module in three dimensions as you like. The values at that particular time are shown on the Serial monitor. We can interface an LCD or an OLED to present the measurement. The example codes are flexible. They can be used as it or can be calibrated as per the requirement of the user.

 Alternate Options

  • ADXL335
  • MPU6050


  • Joysticks controllers
  • Medical Systems
  • 3D remote controls
  • Set top boxes
  • Orientation Detection
  • Wearable sensors for health, fitness and sports
  • Location based services
  • VR Gaming
  • Robotics

2D Diagram

2D diagram

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