Waterproof digital sensor measuring air and water pressure

28th August 2019
Alex Lynn

Alps Alpine has introduced the HSPPAD143A Waterproof Digital Pressure Sensor for applications in wearable devices and IoT equipment. According to the latest data from the Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker released by IT research firm IDC Japan, the wearable devices market is expected to grow more than ten percent on average each year between 2019 and 2022. 

Shipments are forecast to increase to 200 million units by 2022.

Wearable devices, particularly smart watches, have become increasingly sophisticated and multifunctional and software and applications have emerged to support all kinds of features like navigation, health maintenance and recording of sports data. 

Those devices are employed in an expanding range of scenarios stretching beyond the everyday commute to work or school to encompass such activities as mountain climbing and diving. This has heightened needs for ascertaining conditions within the surrounding environment, for example at high altitudes or deep underwater.

The newly developed HSPPAD143A has an expanded pressure measurement range of 300 – 2100hPa, compared to 300 to 1100hPa of existing products, and a water-resistant design. This means it works in both low-pressure environments at altitudes up to 9,000m and high-pressure conditions down to ten meters underwater, allowing measurement in both open air and water with a single sensor. 

The HSPPAD143A also houses a dedicated, fully customised application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) based on IC design know-how accumulated internally over the years at Alps Alpine. This has helped realise low current consumption of 1.8µA (in Low Power mode), contributing to the creation of products able to operate for lengthy periods.

Features of the waterproof digital sensor

  1. Broad measurement range from 9,000 meters altitude to ten meters underwater.
  2.  A 1.8µA low current consumption (in Low Power mode).
  3.  Use in combination with O-ring realises outstanding water resistance with simple mechanical design.
  4.  High sensing resolution with 17-bit digital data output (2Pa/LSB).
  5.  Built-in FIFO memory.
  6.  Surface mount type.

The sensor has built-in FIFO memory, and it can be used in combination with a ready-made O-ring to simplify end-product design. As a result, the sensor can be used for a wide variety of purposes not restricted to wearable products or applications like pressure measurement in gas meters.

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