Micronas Hall-effect Sensor Delivers Cost-Efficient Programmable Performance for Automotive and Industrial Applications

Superior sensor performance compensates system tolerances

FREIBURG, Germany, Oct. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Micronas , a leading supplier of innovative application- specific IC system solutions for automotive and consumer electronics, today announced the HAL(R) 880 programmable linear Hall-effect sensor. The HAL 880 is complementing Micronas' family of programmable linear Hall sensors HAL 8xy. It uses digital technology to deliver superior sensor performance while offering a linear analog output for compatibility with existing sensor designs. Based on building blocks proven in earlier Micronas Hall-effect sensors, it allows system designers to reuse acquired know-how from previous designs with the HAL 8xy family and adopting this experience to their new designs. Thus, system designers can build custom-calibrated sensor assemblies at low costs.

Modern automobiles deploy dozens of Hall-effect sensors. A sensor that can be custom-programmed in system is more accurate. The HAL 880 can deliver the precision and accuracy for applications such as pedal position sensing. It is also well suited for headlight-adjustment systems and other applications requiring linear or angular position sensing but also for current sensing applications.

With a junction temperature range of -40 to +140 degrees C, it is rugged enough for industrial as well as automotive applications. Hall-effect sensors are becoming more common in factory automation and consumer white-goods. In the latter, accurate sensors contribute to increased energy efficiency in washing machines, dryers, and other large appliances.

"With the HAL 880, we have delivered the capabilities of high-end linear sensors at a price point competitive with non-programmable sensors in many applications," says Peter Zimmermann, Head of Market Management Automotive at Micronas. "And it uses process technology and circuits already proven in automotive applications."

The device uses a DSP to perform sensor linearization and can compensate for the variations in the Hall effect due to operating temperature, magnetic field strength, magnet temperature, Hall-plate sensitivity, and offset voltage. Its output is a fully push-pull 12-bit ratiometric analog output with less than 25 mV of noise. Wire-break detection is featured to insure reliable sensing. All programming parameters are kept in the internal EEPROM, and there are 13 extra bits for customer or application data. The device is supported by the full range of PC-based Hall-effect sensor development tools from Micronas.

Pin-compatible to the other members of the HAL 8xy family, the HAL 880 is packaged in the industry standard small TO92UT package. No extra pin is required for programming, which is done by modulating the current on the supply pin.

Pricing for 10 K units is 1.30 US Dollar. Samples of the HAL 880 will be available in Q1/2009.

Micronas will demonstrate its latest Hall-effect sensor solutions for automotive applications at Convergence(R) 2008, booth Nr. 1013, in Detroit, Michigan, USA, from October 20 - October 22, 2008.

About Sensor Solutions by Micronas

Micronas today offers the world's broadest range of Hall-effect sensors. A Hall-effect sensor detects the presence of a magnet without requiring actual physical contact. Thus, it can be used to sense movement and rotation without requiring contact with the moving object. Other parameters like pressure, force or torque can be sensed by noting the slight movements of a magnet caused by changes of the applied parameter.

While Hall-effect sensors can be made from various materials, Micronas pioneered the market in CMOS Hall-effect sensors and was the first to manufacture in CMOS technology. This technology allows integration of the Hall-effect sensing element with standard electronic devices such as amplifiers, logic circuits, and volatile and non-volatile memories.

Micronas' expertise in Hall sensors combines perfectly with its CMOS and mixed-signal design resources to create accurate, intelligent sensors for a broad range of applications. The ever-increasing demand for energy-efficient and highly reliable machines means that demand for these smart sensors will continue to grow.

About Micronas

Micronas , a semiconductor designer and manufacturer with worldwide operations, is a leading supplier of cutting-edge IC and sensor system solutions for consumer and automotive electronics. As a market leader in innovative global TV system solutions, Micronas leverages its expertise into new markets emerging through the digitization of audio and video content. Micronas also offers a variety of microcontrollers and Hall- sensors for automotive and industrial applications, such as car dashboard, body control, as well as motor management and comfort functions.

Micronas serves all major consumer and automotive electronics customers worldwide, many of them in continuous partnerships seeking joint success. While the holding company is headquartered in Zurich (Switzerland), operational headquarters are based in Freiburg (Germany). Currently, the Micronas Group employs around 1800 people. In 2007 it generated CHF 713/USD 596/EUR 433 million in sales. For more information on Micronas and its products, please visit www.micronas.com.

Web site: http://www.micronas.com/

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