San Jose, Calif. Sensor Platforms has introduced its SSP1401 multi-channel LRC sensor interface chip. The SSP1401 provides a low-cost and user configurable solution for applications that require the interfacing of single or multiple sensors of various signal types and functionalities including resistive, capacitive, inductive, piezoelectric and pulse-count based sensor elements.
The SSP1401 is specifically designed to address the next generation of high-volume sensor applications that call for multi-sensor fusion capability. For example, the single chip SSP1401 can directly interface to a dual-axis magneto-resistive magnetometer sensor to implement an electronic compass function, while at the same time providing altimeter information via a capacitive pressure sensor.
The fully integrated SSP1401 requires only three discrete passive components in addition to the sensor elements, which translates into a savings in design complexity, board space and cost, said Sensor Platforms. The device offers true 1.8-V operation and can function directly off of a power supply range of 1.6 to 3.6 volts, while dissipating a low operating current of less than 0.5 mA (depending on the sensor load and sampling rate). In sleep mode, the SSP1401 dissipates less than 200 nA. This makes the device suitable for any battery-powered mobile platform using multiple sensors in consumer, computer, industrial and automotive applications.
In addition, the SSP1401 offers a dynamic signal range of 24 bits and has a 13 bit effective number of bits (ENOB) rating, which also makes it a very high performance device from a signal to noise perspective, said the company. The device operates over the extended temperature range of -40°C to 125°C to meet industrial and automotive applications.
The SSP1401 offers six user-configurable sensor drive channels that can each drive up to 60 mA for any given sensor and are compatible with most sensor element types including MEMS. This means that up to any combination of six resistive, capacitive, inductive or piezoelectric sensors can be driven by a single SSP1401. They may be used in a host of sensor applications including resistive temperature and gas sensors, capacitive viscometer sensors, capacitive and resistive liquid-level sensors, capacitive dielectric-measurement sensors, capacitive touch sensors, resistive conductivity measurement sensors, resistive and inductive magnetic sensors, resistive and capacitive accelerometers, pressure sensors, and LVDTs.
The SSP1401 outputs sensor data using a standard serial peripheral interface (SPI) protocol which makes it very convenient for any host system to interface to it. The device is available in a bare die form or in a 5 x 5 mm sq., 28-pin MLF/QFN package that is compatible with the European Union's Restrictions on Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive.
Pricing: Packaged devices are priced at $2.24 each in quantities of 1,000. The evaluation kit is priced at $199 each.
Availability: Samples and evaluation kits will be available in second quarter 2007. The evaluation kit will feature a simple capacitive touch scroll sensor demo, an ARM-7 processor-based USB communication board with 256 KBytes of code-space memory for user program development, and data-acquisition software tools that allow data-logging, graphing and statistical analysis.
Product information: SSP1401
Sensor Platforms, 1-480-777-1355, www.sensorplatforms