Sensors detect, respond precisely because they can

Dec. 22, 2017

Like robotic sentries, sensors steadfastly detect, measure, and enable the quantification and control of physical parameters including light, fluid/gas flow, supply voltage, supply current, output type, output current, strain, load, torque, operating temperature range, accuracy, sensing range, and packaging type. This month’s new product offerings include an accelerometer, position sensors, a pressure sensor, a temperature sensor, and angle
sensor ICs.

Eve Degree
Courtesy of Elgato

In related news, Sensirion has announced that Elgato is employing Sensirion’s best-selling humidity and temperature sensor, SHTC1, in its Eve Degree monitoring system. According to Sensirion, the SHTC1 offers a complete sensor on a single chip, consisting of a capacitive humidity sensor, a band-gap temperature sensor, analog and digital signal processing, an A/D converter, calibration data memory, and a digital communication interface supporting 1²C fast mode. “With the energy efficiency and best-in-class accuracy of Sensirion’s SHYC1, the new Eve Degree delivers outstanding battery lifetime and precision,” said Dr. Markus Fest, general manager of Elgato. “Combined with the strengths of HomeKit and the Eve app, Eve Degree is the best thermometer for the iPhone you can get today.”

MEMS capacitive accelerometers

The Model 1525 Series, a family of commercial and inertial-grade MEMS capacitive accelerometers, offers low-noise performance. Its design incorporates a MEMS variable capacitive sense element, along with a ±4.0-V differential analog output stage, internal temperature sensor, and integral sense amplifier—all housed within a miniature, nitrogen damped, hermetically sealed, surface mounted J-lead LCC-20 ceramic package. The 1525 Series features low-power (+5 VDC, 5 mA) operation and zero cross-coupling. Five full-scale ranges, of ±2 g, ±5 g, ±10 g, ±25 g, and ±50 g, are available. Each MEMS accelerometer offers reliable performance over a standard operating temperature range of -40°C to +85°C. Units are also relatively insensitive to wide temperature changes and gradients. A calibration test sheet is supplied with each unit, showing measured bias, scale factor, linearity, operating current, and frequency response. The Model 1525 Series tactical-grade MEMS inertial accelerometer family is suitable for zero-to-medium frequency instrumentation applications that require high-repeatability, low noise, and maximum stability, including tactical guidance systems, navigation and control systems, attitude and heading reference systems (AHRS), unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs), remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), robotic controllers, flight control systems, and marine- and land-based navigational systems. The devices may also be used to support critical industrial test requirements, such as those common in agricultural, oil and gas drilling, photographic and meteorological drones, and seismic and inertial measurement applications. Silicon Designs, Inc.

Resolver motor position sensor

The new single-IC MLX90380, a second-generation resolver motor position sensor, is based upon the vendor’s proprietary Triaxis Hall magnetic sensing technology. The vendor says it is compatible with any brushless motor—including permanent magnet synchronous motors (PMSM) and brushless DC motors (BLDC)—thanks to its ability to measure the absolute angle. It is suited to the ever-growing number of automotive applications. The precision sensor is suitable for high-speed rotating applications, such as automotive electrical power steering motors and superchargers, due to its 2-μs sampling and 8-μs output refresh rates.

The MLX90380 provides sine and cosine analog ratiometric outputs while other options include the ability to select sensitivity from 10 mT to 70 mT and three different configurations for the magnetic field axis. It can be mounted in either end-of-shaft or through-shaft applications. By selecting the correct option code, designers are now able to measure rotation and position at any point along a shaft by using a ring magnet in conjunction with the MLX90380. The MLX90380 operates from -40°C to +150°C, making it suitable for harsh applications such as industrial and automotive. The standard version is available in a small SOIC-8 package, and a fully redundant version is provided in a SOIC-16 package. For PCB-less applications, such as direct mounting in a motor, a DMP-4 package is available. Melexis

Linear position sensor

The LV-45 Series inductive, contactless linear position sensor employs LVIT technology. The LV-45 linear position sensors are specifically designed for measuring applications requiring rugged devices, such as devices used to measure the position of steam turbine valves, devices mounted in a paper mill head box or calendar roll stand, or devices used outdoors fastened to a building, bridge or other structure. LV-45 Series linear position sensors are designed to withstand the high vibration and severe shock environments found in steel, aluminum, and paper mills, as well as extremes of temperature and humidity found in most outdoor applications where many other types of linear position sensors cannot survive. Alliance Sensors Group

Miniaturized pressure-sensor dies

New members of the EPCOS MEMS miniaturized pressure sensor die family have been introduced. The automotive versions of the C33 Series boast dimensions of just 1 mm x 1 mm x 0.4 mm, making them one of the smallest of their kind. They are designed for absolute pressures of 1.2 bar to 10 bar, and are qualified based on AEC-Q101. The C39 type, with its footprint of just 0.65 mm x 0.65 mm, is especially suitable for IoT and consumer applications. One noteworthy feature of the C39 is its low insertion height of just 0.24 mm, which makes the low-profile MEMS pressure sensor die suitable for applications in smartphones and wearables, for example, where space requirements are critical. TDK Corp.

Digital temperature sensor

The STS35 temperature sensor—touted by the vendor as the most accurate sensor of the versatile STS3x Series—has been designed to fulfill the needs of demanding markets such as the medical and automotive sectors. Typical applications include body temperature measurement and temperature control. The model has a temperature accuracy of ±0.1°C.

The product features increased intelligence and reliability. Its functionality includes enhanced signal processing, two distinctive and user-selectable I2C addresses, and communication speeds of up to 1 MHz. The DFN package can be integrated into an extensive variety of applications, thanks to its footprint of 2.5 x 2.5 x 0.9 mm and the supply voltage range of 2.4 V to 5.5 V. Furthermore, the STS35 sensor includes a configurable alert function, allowing it to be used as a temperature watchdog. The STS3x is based on CMOSens technology that integrates the sensing element and read-out electronics onto a single chip, enabling high production volume. Sensirion

CMOS digital image sensor

The new AR0239 1/2.7-inch 2.3-Mp CMOS digital image sensor features an active-pixel array of 1,936 x 1,188. The AR0239 produces clear and sharp digital images in challenging bright and low-light conditions. This, along with its ability to capture continuous video and single frames, makes it a suitable choice for many applications, including security and surveillance systems, body cameras, and vehicle DVRs (dash cameras). Key attributes of the AR0239 include superior low-light performance, robust near-infrared (NIR) quantum efficiency (QE), and the capability to capture high-dynamic-range scenes. The highly sensitive 3-μm x 3 μm backside illuminated (BSI) pixels with improved NIR process that include the vendor’s DR-Pix technology, give a 21% improvement in responsivity and a 10% improvement in QE versus the device’s predecessor. The sensor features a variety of sophisticated camera functions such as in-pixel binning and windowing, and it has an on-chip ADC that supports both 10-bit and 12-bit architectures. When operating in linear mode with a serial interface, the device offers fully HiSPI/MIPI-compatible HD support up to 1,080 p at 90 fps. Two- or three-exposure 1,080-p HDR output is available at up to 30 fps. The AR0239 is optimized for ease of design-in, with multicamera synchronization capability simplifying more sophisticated installations. Being housed in an iBGA package enhances the robustness and reliability of the new image sensor in terms of thermal and humidity resilience and performance. The device has an operating temperature range, aligned with industrial application specifications, of -30°C to +85°C. ON Semiconductor

Inertial measurement units

The ADIS16470, ADIS16475, and ADIS16477 IMUs deliver performance improvements in small size with standard surface-mount assembly. The three different models are optimized to provide a range of performance, cost, and application-suitability needs. The ADIS16465 and ADIS16467 IMUs offer similar performance advantages in a more ruggedized enclosure option. Together, these product advancements bring a performance-for-cost ratio to unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) applications where designers have previously struggled with costly, risky, and sub-par performance solutions from integrating consumer-grade sensors, which also fell short of reliability goals. These new IMUs bring the same benefits to autonomous machine applications in fields such as smart agriculture, where the demands of such rugged equipment previously forced a choice between cost-challenged, highest-grade sensors or performance-limited commercial sensors. Analog Devices Inc.

Current-sense transformers

The CST2020 Series current-sense transformers sense current up to 40 A over a frequency range of 400 Hz to 1 MHz and offer 4000-VRMS isolation voltage between the sense and output windings. They provide reinforced insulation per UL 60950-1, and they provide output feedback for load current measurement and control in switching power supplies; they also provide overload/short-circuit protection. They are qualified to AEC-Q200 Grade 1 (-40°C to +125°C) standards, making them suitable for automotive applications like current measurement in traction-motor and battery-management systems. They are also suited for use in 48-V vehicle systems. Other applications include aerospace power management systems, 3-phase solar inverters, industrial motor controls, and other applications requiring high isolation between the sense and output windings. The CST2020 Series is available with four turns ratios ranging from 1:70 to 1:300, and it offers low sense resistance (0.00084 Ω). Coilcraft

Angle-sensor ICs

Two new 0° to 360° angle-sensor ICs provide contactless high-resolution angular position information based on magnetic circular vertical Hall (CVH) technology. This vendor’s A1333 and A1339 devices include an SoC architecture that includes a CVH front end and digital signal processing. The sensors support multiple digital output formats, including the vendor’s first motor commutation outputs and encoder outputs (A, B, I) for angle-sensor ICs that can operate at either 3.3 V or 5 V. The A1333 and A1339 are offered in both single- and dual-die versions for systems that require redundant sensors. They both include on-chip EEPROM technology, capable of supporting up to 100 read/write cycles, for flexible end-of-line programming of calibration parameters. Both devices are suitable for automotive applications requiring 0° to 360° angle measurements, such as motor position measurements for steering and braking systems and other high-speed actuators for pumps and transmissions that require low latency and high resolution. The A1339 also includes an integrated turns counter and low-power-mode features that enable it to track changes in the target magnetic field in automotive applications even when the vehicle is in the “key off” state. Allegro MicroSystems LLC

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