Industry's first inductance to digital converter
Texas Instruments have announced the industry’s first inductance-to-digital converter (LDC1000). The principle use of the device is to measure the movement or displacement of a conductive target. It uses coils (which can be conveniently printed on the PCB) and springs as inductive sensors and measures its coupling to a conductive target. LDC technology enables engineers to create sensors using low-cost and readily available PCB traces or metal springs. LDCs provide high-resolution sensing of any metal or conductor, including the human body.
Inductive sensing is a contactless sensing technology that can be used to measure the position, motion, or composition of a metal or conductive target, as well as detect the compression, extension or twist of a spring. Measurement is non-contact so there are no issues of wear and tear on the sensing element and it is unaffected by the presence of dust, dirt, oil and moisture.
Fields of applications can be domestic appliances (washing machine, stoves, refrigerator and so on), consumer electronics, automotive, mobile devices, computing, industrial, and medical applications. The LDC1000 typically hooks up to a microcontroller using its standard slave SPI interface. It can be programmed to continually supply measurement data or to generate an interrupt or wake-up whenever measured values exceed programmed thresholds.
Key benefits of LDC technology are:
- Enables sub-micron resolution in position-sensing applications with 16-bit resonance impedance and 24-bit inductance values;
- Offers contactless sensing that is immune to nonconductive contaminants, such as oil, dirt and dust, which can shorten equipment life;
- Allows the sensor to be located remotely from the electronics, where PCBs cannot be placed;
- Uses low-cost sensors and targets and does not require magnets;
- Supports pressed foil or conductive ink targets, offering endless opportunities for creative and innovative system design;
- Consumes less than 8.5 mW during standard operation and less than 1.25 mW in standby mode.
For more information about this new data converter you can see, and/or download, datasheet below.
The Evaluation Module (LDC1000EVM) demonstrates the use of inductive sensing technology to sense and measure the presence, position or composition of a conductive target object. The module includes an example of a PCB sensor coil. An MSP430 microcontroller is used to interface the LDC to a host computer.
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WEBENCH Design Environments are powerful software tools that include more than 24000 components from 120 manufacturers! It delivers customized power, lighting, filtering, clocking and sensing designs in seconds.
These easy-to-use tools help you generate, optimize and simulate designs that conform to your unique specifications. In this application new WEBENCH® Inductive Sensing Designer can create a custom sensor coil and configure the LDC in seconds!
The online tool simplifies the sensor coil design process and provides configuration settings for the LDC based on the coil’s characteristics, application requirements and system performance needs. The optimized design can be easily exported to a variety of popular CAD programs, to quickly incorporate the sensor coil into the overall system design.
MSP430 family of ultralow-power microcontrollers. NOTE: see also Erratasheet below