I woke up today and went to my kitchen to have a coffee before leaving for work. I turned the coffee machine on and positioned the cup ready to pour in the coffee. The sensors detected the mug and adjusted its position based on the height of the mug. Ah, sensors! This was my first encounter of today that made me think about sensors and how they have somehow invaded every corner in the past decade. I had my coffee, left home and went into my car to drive to work. It was a rainy morning so as soon as I started off my car, the windshield wipers turned on. Surprise surprise! Sensors again! The sensors literally “felt” the rain and automatically turned on. But now, the question arises; how do engineers go off about choosing or selecting the appropriate sensor for all of these functions? Or in more specific terms, how to know which sensor will “feel”, “hear”, “see”, “smell” or “understand” the environment for a specific condition?
To help with that, Infineon came out with the latest selection guide which detects all sensors offered and their application in different fields such as the automotive, industrial, consumer and IoT markets. The guide offers a portfolio of all sensors of the XENSIVTM family package and their applications.
Now since I mentioned my car, let’s stop there and identify as many sensors used when the car was manufactured. The next thing I did was put my gear stick in driving mode in order to be able to move. In this case, the magnetic Hall sensor TLE4964-2M and the 3D magnetic sensor TLE493D-x2B6 is used in the transmission system. On one hand, the TLE4964-2M sensors are designed to make position sensing more convenient and affordable, and they are particularly useful in situations where maintaining the magnetic threshold at high temperatures is important. On the other hand, for TLE493D-x2B6 the combination of 3D Hall technology, high accuracy, and small package size allows for very compact system designs.
Figure 1. Magnetic sensors in efficient transmission systems
Next, moving on to other sensors. Since I drive a car that was produced five years ago, the Electric Power Steering (EPS) technology is used to assist with driving. Instead of using a hydraulic system, EPS uses an electric motor to provide the necessary assistance to the steering mechanism. This can make steering easier, especially at low speeds, and can also improve fuel efficiency since the motor only uses power when assistance is needed. Here we have position sensor applications which comply with the ISO 26262 standards and offer the highest safety level, including but not only; the linear sensor TLE499x, the magnetic switch TLE4906, and the dual-sensor angle TLE5x09D.
Figure 2. Typical application for Infineon magnetic position sensors in EPS
Lastly, I arrived in my work’s parking lot, so logically I stopped the engine. Next, I put the car in parking mode, otherwise known as the parking lock. In this instance, a magnetic position sensor is used to determine the position of the parking lock and it has the ability to detect if the “P” is engaged or not engaged. Here we have different types of sensors such as the angle sensor TLE5012, the magnetic switch TLE4964-2M, the linear sensor TLE4997x and the 3D magnetic sensor TLE493D-x2B6. The illustration below shows a description of the different kinds of sensors used in this function.
Figure 3. Parking Lock Sensor
After a 35-minute drive and a contemplation on sensors, I arrived in front of my job’s building. As if that wasn’t enough talking on sensors, of course, the sensor detected my movement in front of the entrance door and opened it automatically. It is safe to conclude here that it was the day of sensors!
For those interested to learn more about sensors, download the latest XENSIVTM Sensor Selection Guide 2022 click here.
FYI, a second blog from my end is on the making and will discuss more in depth current, pressure, radar and environmental sensors, as well as MEMS microphones.
But until then, take care! 😉
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