High-accuracy current sensor enables more efficient power conversion

Allegro MicroSystems has launched its ACS37002 family of advanced Hall-effect current sensors that offers a 400-kHz sensing bandwidth up to 180 A with low offset and better than 1% typical total accuracy over the full −40°C to 150°C automotive temperature range. The high-speed operation enables higher switching frequencies and thus the design of SiC and GaN switching platforms that improve efficiency.

“Faster switching improves efficiency in most power conversion applications, which is possible with the increasing adoption of SiC and GaN switches,” said Allegro. The company created the ACS37002 to address this need by maximizing the speed of the Hall plates.

A higher-speed current sensor with high accuracy and DC stability allows for tighter control of the motor or power converter control loop, which improves the overall efficiency of the system, added Allegro, and by enabling faster switching, the ACS37002 also helps designers to reduce overall system size.

The device also uses differential sensing for high immunity to external magnetic field disturbances and is available in three surface-mount package (SOICW-16) options: the LA package (optimized for higher sensitivity and low noise), MA package (high isolation of 4.8 kVrms), and MC package (best-in-class conductor resistance of 0.27 µW and highest isolation rating of 5 kVrms where ultra-low-power loss is needed).

The current sensors are suitable for green energy industrial and electric vehicle applications, including solar power inverters, on-board charger power factor correction, DC/DC converter loop control, and xEV high-voltage inverters.

The ACS37002 family offers a plug-and-play feature from Allegro’s factory programming that allows designers to achieve a faster time to market. The ACS37002 integrates features such as fast overcurrent fault-detection function for system reliability, reference output for accuracy in noisy environments, and four-pin selectable sensitivity settings in a single component, which can reduce inventory part numbers on platform products.

SupIR-SMD package is space-ready for rad-hard MOSFETS

IR HiRel, an Infineon Technologies AG company, solves the issue of reliably attaching surface-mount hermetic power packages to PCBs faced by space system designers with the introduction of 14 QPL-qualified radiation-hardened (rad-hard) MOSFETs housed in a direct-to-PCB mounting package. Capable of attaching directly to the PCB, the SupIR-SMD package design is optimized for surface-mount attach and can be used in applications such as satellite bus power distribution systems, payload power supplies, space-grade DC/DC converters, and other high-switching designs.

Traditionally, designers use a “dead bug” and lead configuration, wherein the packages are flipped upside down and soldered to the PCB via leads; however, dead-bug soldering dissipates heat sub-optimally and decreases MOSFET power capacity, explained the company. With the SupIR-SMD package, it delivers a 37% smaller footprint, 34% lighter mass, and 33% higher current density while offering a more direct thermal path for heat transfer without compromising system reliability.

The SupIR-SMD package is JANS-qualified to MIL-PRF-19500. JANS is the most rigorous level of screening and acceptance requirements available to ensure the performance, quality, and reliability of discrete semiconductors intended for space flight. The new rad-hard MOSFETs are also QPL-qualified in accordance with the Qualified Products List (QPL) for space applications. (Details about reliability testing for the SupIR-SMD can be found in IR HiRel’s application note #1222.)

The SupIR-SMD QPL-qualified rad-hard MOSFETs can be ordered now with the MIL-PRF-19500 package identifier “U2A.”

New RSL10 BLE mesh platform

ON Semiconductor makes it easy for engineers to implement ultra-low-power Bluetooth Low Energy mesh networks with the new RSL10 mesh platform. Based on its ultra-low-power RSL10 system-in-package (RSL10 SIP), the new Bluetooth Low Energy mesh networking development kit is optimized for smart home, building automation, industrial IoT, remote environment monitoring, and asset tracking and monitoring applications.

The RSL10 platform has all the essential elements needed for developing and deploying a mesh network, said ON Semiconductor. In addition to the RSL10 SIP, sensing and indicator devices have been integrated into the node hardware, including an ambient light sensor (LV0104CS), temperature sensor (N34TS108), magnetic sensors, LED indicators, and a triple-output NCP5623B LED driver (for color mixing). It also includes a built-in battery charger suitable for Li-ion or Li-poly batteries.

The platform consists of two RSL10 mesh nodes and a Strata Gateway for connectivity to the Strata Developer Studio. The mesh nodes can be configured to take on different roles and demonstrate particular functional aspects, said the company. The Strata Gateway allows evaluation processes to be carried out using the Strata Developer Studio. The cloud-connected software enables provisioning of additional mesh and supports firmware-over-the-air (FOTA) updates.

Developers can access sensor data and trigger settings by using the virtual workspaces for common mesh networking examples, including a smart office. The RSL10 radio is supported by an Eclipse-based integrated development environment; a mobile application for provisioning, configuring, and controlling a Bluetooth Low Energy Mesh network; and a Mesh Networking software package compliant with the Bluetooth SIG.

Inductive position sensor offers high accuracy, lower weight for industrial motors

Addressing the growing demand for high accuracy, high efficiency, and cost efficiency in industrial motor commutation, Renesas Electronics Corp. has unveiled its first inductive position sensor for industrial markets. The magnet-free IPS2200 features high accuracy and speed, total stray field immunity, and efficient motor integration in a thin and lightweight form factor. The position sensor can be used in a range of industrial, medical, and robot applications.

The sensor enables customers to design their own resolver replacement to achieve lighter, better-performing motors for their industrial, robotic, consumer, and medical applications, said Christian Wolf, vice president, Automotive Sensor Business Division at Renesas.

The IPS2200 allows customers to match the number of sectors to pole pairs of the motor to maximize accuracy, accommodating both off-axis (through-shaft and side-shaft) and on-axis positioning. Thanks to the sensor’s thin and light form factor and total stray field immunity, it enables easier motor integration and provides the standard materials required for customers to manufacture their own resolver replacement, which reduces bill of materials costs.

The position sensor is up to 10× thinner and up to 100× lighter, with up to 250-krpm electrical speeds compared with traditional resolvers, according to Renesas. In addition, the sensor provides up to 10× faster speeds and very low latency compared with resolver- or magnetic-based solutions, with its four- or six-wire operation.

Key specs include:

  • Industrial-qualified, with stable operation in harsh environments and −40°C to 125°C ambient temperatures
  • Interface: Sin/cos single-ended or differential
  • Voltage supply: 3.3 V ±10% or 5.0 V ±10%
  • Rotational speed: Up to 250,000 rpm (electrical)
  • Propagation delay: Programmable, <10 µs
  • Sin/cos gain mismatch and offset compensation
  • Overvoltage, reverse polarity, short-circuit protected
  • Digital programming interface: I²C or SPI

Off-the-shelf tools are available to create tailored and customized sensing elements, as well as custom tools that can achieve coil optimization sets within about 30 minutes, said Renesas.

The IPS2200 is available now with prices starting at $4.22 each in quantities of 1,000. The IPS2200STKIT evaluation kit is also available.

Ultra-low-power sensor board targets machine learning at the edge

Eta Compute Inc. has claimed the industry’s first integrated, ultra-low-power AI sensor board, designed for machine learning at the edge. The ECM3532 AI sensor board reduces the initial phase of smart sensor development — including feasibility, proof of concept, and board design — from several months to weeks or even days by using the company’s TENSAI SoC, according to the company.

Previously, smart sensor design required developers to use multiple boards together. With the integrated ECM3532 board, nearly all the functionality required, including data acquisition, is integrated into a single board that works for months on a single battery cell while performing machine-learning algorithms. The board includes two pulse-density-modulation (PDM) microphones, one pressure and temperature sensor, and one six-axis MEMS accelerometer and gyroscope.

In addition, the small form factor, measuring 1.4 × 1.4 in., along with the embedded battery socket and Bluetooth connectivity with the ABOV Semiconductor A31R118 BLE SoC, makes it suited for IoT deployment and field testing application prototypes. Applications include voice activation and voice commands in consumer, home, and building automation products; asset tracking and monitoring and predictive maintenance in industrial products; and context awareness in consumer and industrial applications. The board can be purchased through Digi-Key.

The company is hosting a free online workshop with Edge Impulse on July 14, 2020. The first 50 qualified developers planning or working on projects will receive a complimentary ECM3532 AI sensor board. You can register for the workshop here.

About the Company

A Global Q International Company

• Headquartered in Knoxville, TN, USA
• With locations in Dubai, UAE
• Shenyang, China