Melexis, a Belgium-based global supplier of micro-electronic semiconductor solutions, announced the MLX90395 Triaxis Magnetometer Node, an automotive-grade (AEC-Q100) monolithic sensor that uses the Hall effect to provide contactless sensing in three dimensions. The dual-die version of the sensor is designed to provide redundancy for demanding scenarios, such as gear lever position sensing in automotive applications.
The functionality of the sensor is defined through the system processor, rather than hardwired into the device itself. In terms of its applicability to position sensing, the company says it has practically unlimited scope.
The MLX90395 offers both I2C and SPI interfaces, simplifying integration into an automotive or industrial control environment. Both medium-field (50 mT) and high-field (120 mT) versions are available in three package options: SOIC-8, TSSOP-16 (dual-die for redundancy), and QFN-16 (with wettable flanks). All package options are qualified to AEC-Q100 covering the extended temperature range for -40 ° to +125 °C (-40° to +257° F) and are RoHS compliant.
The selectable digital output provides 16-bit resolution for X, Y, and Z magnetic field measurements, enabling the host processor, DSP, microcontroller, or digital signal controller to decode the absolute position of any magnet as it passes the sensor.
According to the company, the MLX90395 is smaller and more power-efficient than alternative Hall effect sensors, thanks in large part to its Triaxis technology. This proprietary technology helps return a reported industry-low power consumption, with an idle current of 1.4 μA, standby current of 2.4 μA, and supply current of 4 mA or less.
Along with magnetic field sensors to measure three fields (Bx, By, Bz), the new sensor also integrates a temperature sensor and supply voltage monitor. Functionally, the sensor features three state machines and operates in one of three modes: single measurement, burst mode, and wake-up on change mode. Engineers can select which magnetic field is measured and the frequency of measurement, to further fine-tune the sensor's energy efficiency, as well as the filtering and sampling time to optimize noise versus bandwidth.
"The MLX90395 represents a new way of sensing position for the automotive and industrial markets, one that can redefine the way a wide number of applications are designed in HMI, top column, center stack, and body control," said Nick Czarnecki, Global Marketing Manager Position Sensors at Melexis. "Its strengths lie in its high sensitivity and versatility, coupled with its low power and small size. Manufacturers now have access to the very best 3D magnetic node sensing solution qualified to an automotive-grade."
Operational modes can be defined and selected at runtime through the I2C or SPI interfaces, allowing multiple sensors to form part of a sensor cluster, controlled by a single microcontroller. The bus protocol (SPI or I2C) is also selectable, running at up to 10 MHz for SPI and 1 MHz for I2C. Each sensor is given a unique 48-bit ID number during the manufacturing process and contains additional free space to store customer traceability information.
For more information, visit www.melexis.com.