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Configurable sensor AFE solution aims to simplify sensor systems designs, speeds time-to-market

January 24, 2011 | Paul Buckley | 222901522
Configurable sensor AFE solution aims to simplify sensor systems designs, speeds time-to-market National Semiconductor Corp., is unveiling an innovative design engineering solution which aims to slash the time taken to create a modern sensor design system from weeks, or even months, to a matter of minutes. The company plans to revolutionize how sensor systems are designed by simplifying the design process and speed time-to-market with the launch of two configurable sensor analog front-end (AFE) integrated circuits supported by a new bench-top evaluation tool.
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National believes the new sensor AFE devices coupled with the evaluation tool will work together to fast-track signal path designs for a variety of sensors from major global manufacturers. The configurable sensor AFE ICs and WEBENCH Sensor AFE Designer tool will enable design engineers to select a sensor, design and configure the solution and download configuration data to the sensor AFE.

The goal is to replace a typical sensor system application, which today may require several boards and numerous components to implement, with just one of Nationals sensor AFE ICs.

National says the LMP91000 is the industrys first fully configurable, low-power potentiostat that provides a complete, integrated signal path solution between a sensor and analog-to-digital converter (ADC). The companys other new device, the LMP90100, lays claim to be the industrys first multi-channel, low power, 24-bit sensor AFE with true continuous background calibration and diagnostics for high performance transmitter and transducer applications.

Modern sensor systems, which are ever present in every major industry for critical monitoring and control applications, are shrinking in size, must consume less power and have higher reliability.

Sensor-based system designs are time-consuming and complicated to develop, requiring an optimal design for each system, said Anita Ganti, Precision Systems Business Unit Director at National Semiconductor. Until now, designers have developed customized analog solutions that took weeks or even months to develop, but we can now help them get to market more quickly.

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