Bullet Sensors & Transducers e-Digest, Vol. 126, Issue 3, March 2011: Product News

    (ISSN 1726-5479)

 

 

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Capacitive Sensor Signal Conditioner Benefits Battery-powered Applications

 

 

ZMD AG (ZMDI) has expanded its family of capacitive sensor signal conditioners (SSCs) with the addition of the wide-dynamic-range ZSSC3122 cLite device.

 

Thanks to new design technology, the chip delivers 14-bit resolution and 0.25 % full-scale-output accuracy. A built-in sleep mode lowers current consumption to <1uA for temperatures up to 85 C, making the ZSSC3122 ideal in low-power battery applications, as well as industrial and rugged environments. MEMS sensing elements, such as pressure sensors for hydraulic control systems, humidity sensors and liquid level gauges also benefit from these features.

 

Capacitive sensors do not touch or make direct contact with the system being sensed, making them a preferred option for industrial linear and angular position sensors and contactless potentiometers, where harsh or explosive environments make other sensor technologies impractical.

Capacitive sensors are often favored for their small size and lower power consumption over resistive bridge sensors. The ZSSC3122 supports this view with an operating current as low as 60uA over the entire voltage range of 1.8V to 5.5 V.

 

Technical Features The ZSSC3122 can be configured to interface with capacitive sensors from 2 to 10 pF with sensitivity as low as 125 atto-Farads (aF) per digital bit. The part accommodates single and differential input sensor configurations. All calibration is digital and completed in one pass, eliminating the cost of laser trimming and speeding production of fully calibrated sensor modules.

 

"As the flagship products of ZMDI, sensor signal conditioners demonstrate the precision, accuracy, operational efficiency and high performance that is designed in to every one of our devices," stated Steve Ramdin, Global Product Manager SSC at ZMDI. "Working closely with our customers, we have developed a digital technique to correct not only first-order, but third-order nonlinearity errors difficult or impossible to correct with a pure analog signal path. By providing third-order correction, we give our customers a device that is especially useful in humidity and pressure applications, as well as correcting for other sensor imperfections in almost any situation."

 

The ZSSC3122 connects to micro-controllers but can also be utilized in stand-alone designs for transducer and switch applications. The mixed-signal design of cLite offers 14-bit capacitive-to-digital conversion and full 14-bit compensation of sensor offset, sensitivity and temperature via an internal digital signal processor running a correction algorithm. Calibration coefficients are stored in an on-board non-volatile EEPROM. The system interface offers I2C, SPI, PDM or alarm outputs.

 

The standard supply voltage is 1.8 to 5.5 V with accuracy up to 0.25 % over a -40 to +125 C range. Programming and single-pass calibration of the capacitive sensor and the ZSSC3122 is available through a standard PC environment using the ZSSC3122KIT development tools. The package includes TSSOP 14, a development board, USB cable and calibration software.

 

Pricing, Availability The ZSSC3122 samples are available. Unit prices start at 3.30 EUR, or USD 4.54, in volumes of 1k devices.

 

 

 

 

Contact:

 

Grenzstrasse

28 01109 Dresden,

Germany

Tel.: +49.351.8822-306

Fax: +49.351.8822-337

E-mail: sales@zmdi.com

Capacitive sensor signal conditioners ZMDI ZSSC3122

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