Signal Amplifier Suits Sensors With Current Input

Mazet has announced a four-channel MDDC sensor-signal amplifier for sensors with current input. The on-chip solution is capable of digitising low levels of current input at high speeds with high bandwidths and dynamics. The MDDS is suitable for handling rapidly changing process parameters that sensors provide in applications such as inline measurement of colour and pressure for real-time control of automated processes. Each channel of the transimpedance amplifier is independently digitally programmable at 16 stages via 5 bits of its SPI interface.

Gradation of transimpedance per channel is implemented binarily with additional intermediate levels in the 1.6 to 100Mohm band. At maximum transimpedance, fast current measurement is possible in the nA range with a dynamic range of 30dB. The transimpedance amplifier stages are characterised by low noise. They respond in a highly linear manner with channel synchronism. External programming of the amplifier stages allows for independent, dynamic inline amplification across all channels in ongoing operations.

The MDDC comprises a 12 bit on-chip A/D converter that works on the 'successive approximation' principle. The effect of temperature fluctuations on signal processing is said to be compensated to a high extent. All required reference sources are implemented on chip and can be programmed externally via the serial interface. The S and H function supports parallel sampling with successive conversion of the analogue values from the channels.

Communication between the MDDC and the downstream controller is implemented by means of a 12 bit SPI interface with a clock speed of up to 16MHz. The SPI clock speed is also used for the A/D converter. This allows for a conversion time of 1us per channel or a sampling rate of up to 100kS/s for each of the four channels. The four-channel MDDC sensor signal IC is suited for multiple sensor applications with exacting precision requirements.

Applications include optical sensors (colour sensors and optical arrays), as well as inline detectors for a, B and gamma rays, X-rays and ions. The sensor signal IC is available in an SMD housing or can be provided as a naked chip for downstream hybrid or MCM processing. Mazet offers a True Color Sensor IC with digital output whose signal-processing capabilities are based on the MDDC.


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