Alternative to mechanical pot for autos

Micronas Semiconductor has introduced a contact-free alternative to mechanical potentiometers; the HAL 805, a programmable linear hall effect sensor. The new sensor can replace existing components without having to change the system environment.

Programmable on-chip digital signal processing (DSP) allows sensors to be individually adjusted to different requirements and applications, and enables automatic electronic in-line adjustments in the customer’s manufacturing line.

‘The CMOS process allows us to integrate EEPROMs for programmability, which differentiates our products from the competition,’ said Dr. Ronald Gampp, market manager sensors for Micronas.

The programmability of the sensors allows customers to save costs on logistics, qualification, and production. The ability to individually program HAL 805 sensors among several sensors running in parallel to the same supply voltage makes it easy to program redundant systems where multiple sensors are integrated to guarantee high security.

Micronas has developed the HAL 80x family of CMOS sensors as a contactless alternative to existing potentiometers in order to avoid problems with dirt and wear. This is especially important for automotive applications with high vibrations, high temperatures, changing supply voltages and electromagnetic interference.

The sensor delivers an analog output signal that is proportional to the magnetic field generated by an external moving or rotating magnet or an electrical current. Therefore, it is suitable for a wide range of position, distance, and angle measuring applications and current sensing.

The HAL 805 is optimized for automotive applications with the chopper offset compensation technique and DSP, allowing it to operate accurately over a temperature range from — 40 °C to +150 °C. Integrated compensation and protection circuitry allows the device to operate with noisy supply voltages without being distorted by high-frequency electromagnetic radiation.

High-volume production of the HAL 805 has started and the sensor is available in a 3-pin leaded TO-92UT package and is priced below $1.35 US in large quantities (more than 500,000 units).

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