November 14, 2012 at 02:00 AM EST
ams’ new generation of magnetic position sensors excel in safety-critical automotive applications

ams AG (SIX: AMS), manufacturer of high-performance analog ICs and sensors for consumer, industrial and automotive applications, has introduced a new family of magnetic rotary position sensors with advanced safety features for automotive applications requiring ISO26262 compliance.

Highly integrated systems-on-chip, all magnetic rotary position sensors from ams incorporate Hall magnetic sensing elements, an analog front end and digital signal processing to produce accurate and precise angle measurements. The new 60 Series sensors – the AS5161 and AS5261 (with a digital PWM output) and the AS5162 and AS5262 (with analog voltage output) – now also feature best-in-class automotive protection features that enable vehicle manufacturers to achieve ISO26262 compliance in safety-critical applications.

The rigorous ISO26262 standard for automotive functional safety requires vehicle manufacturers to achieve high levels of reliability, to analyze the effects of the failure modes of components and systems, and to take measures to guarantee functional safety in the event of a predictable failure.

The 60 Series sensors enable manufacturers to achieve ISO26262 compliance by offering very high reliability, comprehensive analysis of the effects of direct and indirect dangerous faults, and very low Failure In Time (FIT) rates. Dual stacked dice (single package) versions, which are fully redundant, the AS5261 and AS5262 sensors can be used in applications requiring the highest ASIL D safety grading.

ams has also enabled enhanced self-diagnostic capabilities in this new generation of automotive position sensors. For example, they can detect a failed input voltage, and the broken ground detection feature with pull-down resistor operates even at high temperatures, unlike in competitive products.

With this new generation of sensors, ams has also implemented a number of power-saving features, resulting in leading-edge efficiency. While the 60 Series devices typically draw a 10mA supply current, many competitive devices draw more than 15mA.

The 60 Series sensors are expected to be used to sense angular displacement in a wide variety of automotive applications, including the accelerator pedal, brake pedal, chassis ride height monitor, HVAC valve position sensor, and the steering wheel.

The devices are also ideal for use in transmission (2WD/4WD switch, gearshift actuator) and throttle (EGR, tumble flap, throttle position, turbo-charger) applications.

Unlike competitive magnetic sensors, the 60 Series sensors from ams require very few external components and can be used with a low-cost ferrite magnet. They also require no external shielding, since they are immune to stray magnetic fields thanks to proprietary differential-input technology developed by ams. The devices are tolerant of magnet misalignment and of variances in the air gap from one unit to another. The 60 Series devices, therefore, offer vehicle manufacturers low bill-of-materials and assembly costs.

The precise 60 Series sensors measure angular displacement at 16,384 points per revolution. Integral non-linearity is 1.4° (maximum) over a complete revolution and across the operating temperature range (-40°C to 150°C).

All four devices offer a small propagation delay – the delay between the input from the sense magnet and the angle calculation output leaving the chip – of 300µs. This means they are able to provide accurate position measurements even of rotors operating at high speed.

According to Bernd Gessner, vice-president and general manager of the automotive business unit at ams, “Automotive manufacturers are looking for high-tech position sensors that are reliable and predictable enough to be used in critical systems such as brake pedals and accelerator pedals. With the new 60 Series sensors, ams has given the industry the measurement performance they need in a device that is extremely robust and safe.”

Price & Availability

The AS5x6x magnetic position sensors are available in a small SOIC8 package. The stacked-dice (redundant) AS5261/62 are in an MLF16 package. The devices are available for sampling now. The AS516x are priced at €2.70 for 1,000 pieces, and the AS526x at €5.12.

Technical Support

An evaluation package for the 60 Series position sensors is available from ams, priced at €300. For further information on the devices or to request samples, please visit www.ams.com/eng/Products/Magnetic-Position-Sensors/Magnetic-Rotary-Position-Sensors.

Contacts:

Patricia Moosburger
Media Relations
phone: +43 (0) 3136 500 31235
press@ams.com
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