Sensors

Sensor IC draws just 2.5µA of current when idle

12th November 2014
Siobhan O'Gorman

A fully programmable, compact sensor IC, capable of accurately measuring changes in magnetic flux density along its X, Y and Z axes, has been introduced by Melexis. The MLX90393, which is based on the company’s proprietary Triaxis technology, enables a wide range of HMI implementations.

The MLX90393 provides almost unlimited scope with which all manner of HMI implementations can be accomplished - from joystick, slide switches, push/pull switches, levelers, linear swipe switches and rotary knobs, right through to complex 3D position sensing systems. Suitable for micropower applications, the IC draws just 2.5µA of current when idle. It employs a monolithic pixel cell arrangement and has a 16-bit resolution output.

Using the SPI and I2C interfaces, engineers can access the MLX90393’s various operating modes: continuous, single measurement, wake up on change and burst mode. In addition, the device’s settings can be adjusted at runtime as required by the application needs. The burst mode duty cycle programmable range spans between 0.1 and 100%. By having it higher, fast response time applications can be served. Conversely, by having a lower duty cycle the current consumption can be curbed at supply voltages as low as 2.2V.

“It is not difficult to find magnetic sensors on the market with linear sensing ranges up to ±2mT, mainly targeting compass applications. The MLX90393 however is the first 3D magnetometer enabling a linear sensitivity across a selectable 16-bit full-scale range from ±5 up to ±50mT. This makes it highly suited to position sensing and shows one of the most important strengths of integrated Hall-effect technology," commented Bruno Boury, Product Line Manager for Magnetic Sensing, Melexis.

“This device opens up possibilities to sensing system design in both consumer and industrial sectors,” Boury added, “It has the capability to capture precise measurement data on the magnetic field in X, Y and Z directions, as well as temperature T, or any combination of these. Trade-offs can be made between power consumption, speed and signal integrity. The multitude of options that result from its array of programmable functions make this device unsurpassed in its versatility.”

Supporting an operational temperature range from -40 to +85°C, the MLX90393 is supplied in a 3x3mm QFN package.

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