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16, 24bit AFEs geared for medical applications

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:analog front end? biopotential measurement? ECG? EEG?

Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) has expanded its ADS1298 analog front end (AFE) portfolio with the introduction of five AFEs for portable biopotential measurement applications. According to the company, the electrocardiogram (ECG) and electroencephalograph (EEG) AFEs are the first to offer 16 and 24bit resolution with 1 or 2 channels.

The devices claim to cut power consumption by more than 94 percent to only 335uW/channel, while cutting PCB space by up to 86 percent, stated TI. These reductions will enable portable medical, sports and fitness equipment that combine long battery life with a form factor that is smaller, lighter and easier to wear, described the company.

The AFEs integrate low-noise programmable gain amplifiers (PGAs), test signals, a right leg drive amplifier, oscillator, voltage reference and lead-off detection function to simplify design. The devices likewise feature input-referred noise below 8uVpp to support Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) end-equipment performance requirements. Additionally, the AFEs are pin compatible, enabling customers to maximize designs across a family of end products, added TI.

Common applications for the AFEs in the ADS1298 family include Holter and fitness heart rate monitors. A two-channel Holter based on the ADS1292 consumes 94 percent less power while using up to 92 percent less PCB space and 92 percent fewer components than an equivalent discrete implementation, touted the company. When used in a typical fitness heart rate monitor, the ADS1291 consumes 89 percent less power while using 52 percent less PCB space and 75 percent fewer components compared to discrete implementations, continued TI.

TI offers a range of tools and support to speed development with the entire ADS1298 family, including an IBIS model to verify board signal integrity requirements and evaluation modules (EVMs) to speed evaluation. EVMs for the new AFEs can be purchased for $99 and include the ADS1192ECG-FE for evaluating the ADS1191 and ADS1192, ADS1292ECG-FE for evaluating the ADS1291 and ADS1292, and ADS1292RECG-FE for evaluating the ADS1291R.

Engineers designing with the ADS1298 family can also ask questions and help solve problems in the Precision Analog Data Converter forum in the TI E2E Community.

The AFEs are available in a 7 x 7mm TQFP package priced in 1,000-unit quantities. The 16bit, 1-channel ADS1191 costs $1.50, 16bit, 2-channel ADS1192 is at $2.50, 24bit, 1-channel ADS1291 comes at $2, 24bit, 2-channel ADS1292 at $3.50, and 24bit, 2-channel ADS1292R with respiration impedance costs $4.50.

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