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Power Electronics Europe News
3D magnetic sensor reduces power consumption in industrial use

It is packaged in a small, 6pin TSOP. Magnetic field detection in x, y, and z directions, allow the sensor to measure three-dimensional, linear and rotation movements. The digital I²C interface enables fast and bi-directional communication between sensor and microcontroller.

The sensor can be used in consumer and industrial applications that require accurate 3D or angular measurements or low power consumption, such as joysticks; control elements for white goods and multi-function knobs; and electric meters where the 3D magnetic sensor helps to protect against tampering. It has contactless position sensing and high temperature stability of magnetic threshold for small, robust systems.

The 3D magnetic sensor replaces the three dimension sensors currently used in e-meters, making them smaller and more energy efficient, according to the company.

The sensor uses lateral hall plates for the z direction and vertical ones for the x and y direction of the magnetic field for a range of ±150mT (milli Tesla) for all three dimensions. This allows measuring and covering a long magnet movement. The large operation scale also makes the magnet circuit design easy, robust and flexible.

It provides 12bit data resolution for each measurement direction. This allows a high data resolution of 0.098mT per bit (LSB) so that even the smallest magnet movements can be measured.

In Power Down mode, the sensor requires just 7nA supply current. To perform magnetic measurements, the sensor can be set in one of five different power modes. In Ultra Low Power Mode, for example, it performs a magnetic measurement every 100ms (10Hz) resulting in a current consumption of 10µA. The time between measurement cycles can be set by the user.

Using the sensor with continuous measurements, the maximum power consumption is only 3.7mA. Power modes can be changed during operation.

A standard I²C digital protocol communicates with external microcontrollers. Sensors can be operated in a bus mode to eliminate additional wiring cost and efforts.

Supply voltages are between 2.7 and 3.5V. Temperature range is -40 to 125°C. The sensor is qualified according to JESD47.

The company  offers an evaluation board, the 3D Magnetic 2Go. It applies the Infineon 32bit microcontroller XMC1100 that uses the ARM Cortex-M0 processor.

The board is available now, engineering samples of the sensor will be available from July.

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