TI introduces maiden multichannel inductance-to-digital converters

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April 30, 2015: Texas Instruments has announced the world’s first multichannel inductance-to-digital converters (LDCs). The four new devices in the LDC1614 family expand the innovative LDC portfolio, a data converter category that TI first introduced in 2013. The devices offer two or four matched channels and up to 28-bit resolution in a single integrated circuit (IC).

The combination of precision and multichannel functionality will allow engineers to design high dynamic range position and motion sensing solutions with simpler system designs and reduced cost. Unlike other technologies, LDC-enabled inductive sensing employs low-cost, high-reliability inductors as sensors, which can be located remotely from the IC. By integrating up to four channels in a single IC, the LDC1614 family allows designers to distribute sensors throughout a system, while centralising electronics on fewer printed circuit boards (PCBs). This can benefit precision linear or rotational sensing and metal detection in a variety of end equipment including white goods, printers, cameras and automotive infotainment consoles.

Key benefits of the LDC1614 family:

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·         Multiple, well-matched channels: Enables differential and ratio-metric measurements, allowing designers to easily compensate for environmental and ageing conditions such as temperature, humidity and mechanical drift.

·         Precision measurement capability: With up to 28-bit resolution, the devices can detect submicron changes in distance.

·         Wide sensor frequency range: By supporting a frequency range of 1 kHz to 10 MHz, designers have flexibility to use many types of inductors as sensors. This frequency range also enables use of very small PCB coils, which reduces overall sensing solution cost and size.

·         Low system power: Powered by a 3.3-V supply, the LDC1614 family consumes approximately 6.9 mW during standard operation and 0.12 mW while in shutdown mode.

·         High reliability: Offers con-tactless sensing that is immune to non-conductive contaminants, such as oil, dirt and dust, which can shorten equipment life.

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