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Magnetic linear position sensor comes in TSSOP20

Posted: 04 Jul 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:iC-Haus? iC-ML? magnetic linear position sensor?

Integrated magnetic linear position sensor

German IC developer iC-Haus has announced the iC-ML, an integrated magnetic linear position sensor/encoder assembled in a TSSOP20 package measuring 6.6-by-6.4-by-1.1mm.

According to the company, the device contains four Hall sensors for the generation of analog sine/cosine signals at a pole pitch of 2.56mm. It also has an integrated signal conditioning unit with an A/D converter and output interfaces. Three configuration inputs allow 26 different modes of operation to be selected for the position evaluation of the magnetic tape placed above the chip. Magnetic field strengths from 20mT upwards are sufficient for safe operation; a suitable gain or error signal can be used to both monitor the distance of the magnet and to center it.

Operating distances of 1- to 2mm between the magnetic tape and package can be achieved, iC-Haus said, depending on the material and size of the magnet used. In addition to providing pure analog sine and cosine signals for position determination with external interpolators, the device also uses these signals to generate output signals with a resolution of 6-, 7- and 8bits, enabling resolutions of 20m and up to 256 linear steps to be acquired, the company explained.

The linear displacement of the new device with respect to the magnetic tape is provided in analog form as a periodic sawtooth and triangle voltage, where the amplitudes are freely selectable. Digital signals are available as A/B quadrature signals with a zero pulse Z and as up/down pulses used to trigger counters. Additional power reduction modes permit the halving of the supply current. Speeds of up to 5m/s can be processed.

It is possible to cascade several devices at once, allowing various coordinates to be scanned. This simplifies connecting the device to a microcontroller or interpolator for further processing, iC-Haus said. Deactivated chips with high-impedance bus connections have a low standby current draw.

Possible areas of application for the new device include analog/digital incremental linear scales, contactless sliding switches/linear potentiometers, level sensors, commutation of linear motors and linear sensors in various industrial applications within a temperature range of -40C to 125C.

iC-ML's non-contact sensor principle and generous distance tolerance make it suitable for applications where the hermetic separation of the electronics and the mechanical drive is advantageous, the company said, such as those used in wet and dusty mechanical engineering environments.

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