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MEMS eliminate temperature errors

Posted: 28 Jun 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:contactless? MEMs? infrared? temperature sensor?

Melexis Microelectronic Systems has released its third-generation of contactless MEMS infrared temperature sensors targeted at applications in automotive, medical, industrial and consumer markets.

The temperature sensors are the latest in the Melexis MLX90614 family of MEMS sensors that are built into dashboards of cars to guide the HVAC system. Other uses of the sensor are in ear- and forehead thermometers, microwave ovens, green air conditioning systems, process control and maintenance systems, medical blood analyzers and mobile phones.

Melexis said the sensor solves the common problem in the use of infrared thermometers, in which an error is induced due to fast temperature variations and/or thermal gradients. The problem is solved by reducing the effect by two orders of magnitude using its built-in compensation technology. The technology is based on the use of a secondary sensor to measure the thermal disturbances and compensate the measurement result with internal digital electronics. In this way thermometers can be used in environments where most other infrared sensors fail.

"Our customers tell us that a high accuracy is an absolute requirement. Melexis delivers the sensors factory calibrated, making them plug and play thermometers: they read out a complete temperature signal, ready to use in their application," said Luc Buydens, Melexis product line manager for non-contact thermometers.

According to Melexis, the MLX90614ESF-DCH and MLX90614ESF-DCI incorporate a refractive silicon lens to achieve small fields of view (down to 5 degrees) so small objects can also be measured from further distances.

They are also able to measure human body temperature with a high medical accuracy over wide operating range. The accuracy for this application is 0.2C, making them ideal for forehead thermometers and public area fever scanning gates, Melexis said.

The parts are available in a standard setting TO-39 footprint with integrated lens.

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