Michael Georgi
Marketing Manager
Published: November 21, 2019

With the rise of more innovative technology, digitalization and automation have become more of a reality. We are collecting data on everything in our environment, which tell us details about the health status of systems, comfort functions, and other parameters that help make our lives easier. 

Collecting this data often requires sensing technologies. The world is analog, and signals must be measured, preprocessed, transmitted, and displayed or stored wherever needed. Smart grid components, such as smart meters and smart appliances measure and control energy-efficient systems.

Data is Everywhere

Smart sensing technologies often use micromachined or silicon-based sensing elements. Since these are mostly providing small non-linear signals, special technologies are required to convert the sensor signal into a digital linearized output. Sensor signal conditioner (SSC) ICs facilitate both design and production of sensor interfaces by providing programmable, highly accurate, wide gain and quantization functions combined with powerful, high-order digital correction and linearization algorithms.

Sensing Topology

One type of sensing technology is capacitive sensors. They have been used for pressure sensing, humidity sensing, fuel level sensing, position sensing, and they can also act as human interface devices. A big advantage of this technology is the low power consumption of the sensing element itself. When resistive sensor elements need to be powered to provide an output signal, a capacitive sensor changes its capacitance by coupling sensing electrodes with a conductive or dielectric media. For this type of sensing, SSCs with a capacitive sensor front-end technology is required.

Renesas’ new ZSSC3230 is ideal for battery-driven low-power applications and offers excellent low-power consumption, down to an average of 1.3µA at a 1Hz conversion rate. These SSCs combine Renesas’ low-power technology with a high-precision capacitive analog front end, providing customers with a best-in-class product for sensing technologies.

Visit the SSC webpage to learn more about Renesas’ innovative SSC portfolio.

ZSSC3230 System Architecture

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