editor's blog
Subscribe Now

Conditioning Sensor Signals

Some time back, ZMDI made an announcement about a sensor conditioner they had released. A couple things gave me cause for pause as I looked it over. First was the description of a one-pass calibration process as being unique. The other was the fact that a major component of the advanced sensors you may see presented at conferences, examples of which we covered in a sensor article series earlier this year, is the associated circuitry required to turn a raw sensor output into a reliable, usable signal. I.e., conditioning the signal on the same chip as the sensor.

So I checked in with ZMDI to get their thoughts on both of these topics.

With respect to calibration, all sensors require it, worldly imperfections being what they are. Calibration involves measuring the response of the sensor and then applying corrections that are stored in the sensor; each unit has to be individually calibrated. The question is how you do it.

Some apparently correct using analog techniques; some, including ZMDI, use digital. Some – most of the analog ones in particular – use a multi-pass calibration process to set all of the various parameters because there may be coupling between them, so you need to set some values before measuring and setting others. So you do one measurement pass to acquire one set of values and set a correction. Then you do another pass and set a different parameter. Etc.

The one-pass approach measures all necessary data in one pass, and then offline software – e.g., in a PC – can calculate all of the corrections and program them into the sensor’s EEPROM. This is inherently a faster process than multi-pass.

As far as integrating the conditioner with the sensor is concerned, ZMDI agrees that, in principle, this can certainly be done and would be “a reasonable and mutually beneficial advancement,” although no ongoing projects at ZMDI were identified. They indicated that the kinds of sensors best suited to a combined solution are, of course, those that involve MEMS processes that integrate nicely with CMOS. Those include, in particular, piezo-electric sensors measuring things like pressure and strain as well as those that measure inertia – vibration and acceleration.

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
Jan 22, 2021
Amidst an ongoing worldwide pandemic, Samtec continues to connect with our communities. As a digital technology company, we understand the challenges and how uncertain times have been for everyone. In early 2020, Samtec Cares suspended its normal grant cycle and concentrated ...
Jan 22, 2021
I was recently introduced to the concept of a tray that quickly and easily attaches to your car'€™s steering wheel (not while you are driving, of course). What a good idea!...
Jan 22, 2021
This is my second post about this year's CES. The first was Consumer Electronics Show 2021: GM, Intel . AMD The second day of CES opened with Lisa Su, AMD's CEO, presenting. AMD announced new... [[ Click on the title to access the full blog on the Cadence Community...
Jan 20, 2021
Explore how EDA tools & proven IP accelerate the automotive design process and ensure compliance with Automotive Safety Integrity Levels & ISO requirements. The post How EDA Tools and IP Support Automotive Functional Safety Compliance appeared first on From Silicon...

featured paper

Common Design Pitfalls When Designing With Hall 2D Sensors And How To Avoid Them

Sponsored by Texas Instruments

This article discusses three widespread application issues in industrial and automotive end equipment – rotary encoding, in-plane magnetic sensing, and safety-critical – that can be solved more efficiently using devices with new features and higher performance. We will discuss in which end products these applications can be found and also provide a comparison with our traditional digital Hall-effect sensors showing how the new releases complement our existing portfolio.

Click here to download the whitepaper

featured chalk talk

Automotive Infotainment

Sponsored by Mouser Electronics and KEMET

In today’s fast-moving automotive electronics design environment, passive components are often one of the last things engineers consider. But, choosing the right passives is now more important than ever, and there is an exciting and sometimes bewildering range of options to choose from. In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton chats with Peter Blais from KEMET about choosing the right passives and the right power distribution for your next automotive design.

Click here for more information about KEMET Electronics Low Voltage DC Auto Infotainment Solutions