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New Two-Chip Contactless Angular Measurement Solution from Philips

Philips has announced a breakthrough in contactless angular measurement using magnetoresistive technology.

Philips Semiconductors, has launched the world's first silicon integrated sensor system for contactless angular measurement using magnetoresistive (MR) technology. Particularly relevant in automotive and industrial applications, where angle measurement is frequently required, the contactless MR approach provides a wear-free solution and removes the need for a discrete solution on a hybrid. Customers thereby save cost and board space, and also benefit from a system that is highly accurate and insensitive to temperature effects, magnet ageing and displacement in a wide range.

Making use of Philips Semiconductors' competencies in magnetoresistive effect and thin film technology, this new contactless angle measurement system consists of the magnetoresistive sensor KMZ41 and a sensor signal conditioning IC. With the UZZ9000 for ratiometric linear voltage output and the UZZ9001 with a digital SPI interface, the adoption to different application environments can be solved. Both ICs were designed for use with the KMZ41 and therefore provide an optimized interface to this sensor and enable linear measurement of angles up to 180 degrees. However, they can also be used in conjunction with other sensors providing two sinusoidal output signals with a 90 degree phase shift.

"With the magnetic sensor and the signal conditioning electronics encapsulated separately, our system is robust against dirt, dust and liquid as well as high temperature and mechanical destruction," explained Andreas Ogrzewalla, International Product Marketing Manager Sensors, Philips Semiconductors. He continued, "Of such measurement systems, those using the magnetoresistive effect have the basic benefit of evaluating the direction of the magnetic field and not the field strength. MR-based systems tolerate variations in field strength caused by ageing or temperature-sensitivity of the magnet as well as mechanical tolerances. This benefit recommends MR-based systems for applications where robust, precise, and also cost-effective solutions are required such as in the automotive and industrial sectors."

Automotive applications of the Philips Semiconductors MR-based system include chassis and seat positioning, throttle, variable ventile timing, suspension and pedal positioning for drive by wire. Industrial applications include white goods, such as dishwashers and washing machines, and robot technology.

The company's Web site address is

[Reprinted with kind permission from Philips Semiconductors]

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