Reminds me of one of my first major designs as a young 'un, a vehicle loop detector that was used in Western Australia for 15 years. The best compnent I had to work with was an LM308, which had sufficiently low input bias current to let me make a differentiator with a time constant of 10 seconds or so. The differentiator was to pick out small changes (0.3%) in the loop impedance with very low rates of change (i.e. slow moving cars).
Our competition (Eagle Signals) used a resonant loop (like TI's chip) in an AGC'd oscillator circuit, and a partially charged NiCd cell for the long time constant. I avoided resonant/oscillator schemes because of fierce interaction between adjacent loops, and opted instead for a forced loop drive with the same master oscillator driving them all.
It would be fun to make a loop detector with this new chip. Interesting it's not mentioned as a possible application. Maybe it's not got enough input protection? A lighning strike near a detector loop can ruin your day!
Pretty cool stuff!! TI is getting stronger in the analog domain with this kind of cool innovative products. I think there could be many promising ideas of using this device. The simplest one that occurs to me (which I would like to try) is making a cheapest, smallest metal detector gadget for fun. :)
As we unveil EE Times’ 2015 Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. Panelists Dan Armbrust (investment firm Silicon Catalyst), Andrew Kau (venture capital firm Walden International), and Stan Boland (successful serial entrepreneur, former CEO of Neul, Icera) join in the live debate.