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Hall-effect sensor cuts costs in automotive, industrial apps

Posted: 20 Oct 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Hall-effect sensor? automotive application? sensor assembly?

HAL 880

Micronas has developed the HAL 880 programmable linear Hall-effect sensor that complements the company's family of programmable linear Hall sensors HAL 8xy.

The HAL 880 uses digital technology to deliver high sensor performance while offering a linear analog output for compatibility with existing sensor designs. The device also allows system designers to reuse acquired know-how from previous designs with the HAL 8xy family and adopting this experience to their new designs. Thus, system designers can build custom-calibrated sensor assemblies at low costs.

Modern automobiles deploy dozens of Hall-effect sensors. A sensor that can be custom-programmed in system is more accurate. The HAL 880 can deliver the precision and accuracy for applications such as pedal position sensing. It is also well suited for headlight-adjustment systems and other applications requiring linear or angular position sensing but also for current sensing applications.

With a junction temperature range of -40C to +140C, it is rugged enough for industrial as well as automotive applications. Hall-effect sensors are becoming more common in factory automation and consumer white-goods. In the latter, accurate sensors contribute to increased energy efficiency in washing machines, dryers and other large appliances.

"With the HAL 880, we have delivered the capabilities of high-end linear sensors at a price point competitive with non-programmable sensors in many applications," says Peter Zimmermann, head of market management automotive at Micronas. "And it uses process technology and circuits already proven in automotive applications."

The device uses a DSP to perform sensor linearization and can compensate for the variations in the Hall-effect due to operating temperature, magnetic field strength, magnet temperature, Hall-plate sensitivity and offset voltage. Its output is a fully push-pull 12bit ratiometric analog output with less than 25mV of noise. Wire-break detection is featured to insure reliable sensing. All programming parameters are kept in the internal EEPROM, and there are 13 extra bits for customer or application data. The device is supported by the full range of PC-based Hall-effect sensor development tools from Micronas.

Pin-compatible to the other members of the HAL 8xy family, the HAL 880 is packaged in the industry standard small TO92UT package. No extra pin is required for programming, which is done by modulating the current on the supply pin.

Pricing for 10,000 units is $1.30. Samples of the HAL 880 will be available in Q1 09.

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