First analog AMR angle sensor targets brushless DC motor control

December 12, 2011 // By Paul Buckley
NXP Semiconductors N.V. has unveiled the industry’s first magnetoresistive angle sensor with integrated amplifier IC. The KMZ60 uses anisotropic magnetoresistive (AMR) technology and is designed as a low cost, high-performance control device for brushless DC motor (BLDC) commutation.

The new sensor will drive uptake of BLDC motor-based applications, particularly in the automotive sector.

Examples of high-precision automotive applications for the KMZ60 are electronic power steering (EPS) or window wiper systems. Other use cases are BLDC motors in industrial applications.

Cost and complexity of the electronics design has so far held back the penetration of BLDC motors in vehicles. However, designing with NXP’s KMZ60 enables a system cost reduction while delivering high speed and accuracy.

The fast response times, robust performance and high accuracy of the KMZ60 makes it ideal for environments where speed and precision are needed. As a pure analog angle sensor, the KMZ60 increases the overall speed of operation, which is vital for safety-critical applications such as steering angle measurement and window wiper application.

Modern vehicles feature between 10 and 100 electric motors. By replacing traditional motors with brushless DC motors, car manufacturers can realize energy savings. The KMZ60 sensor is designed to save system costs and boost the uptake of energy-efficient equipment. By using a true angular measurement, the magnetoresistive sensors operate reliably independent of magnet shifts and drifts due to lifetime, thermal influences or mechanical stress.

The KMZ60 sensor consists of two microchips within a single SO8 package, an angle sensor and an amplifier IC designed to deliver cosine and sine output signals related to the angle of the rotating magnetic field within a motor. The integrated amplifier means no external amplifiers are required, leading to overall cost savings. A power-down mode permits low power consumption when the sensor is not in use.


The KMZ60 is available now.

More information about the KMZ60 AMR angle sensor at