Hall-effect sensor offers high robustness, flexible output configuration

May 16, 2012 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Semiconductor manufacturer Micronas has announced the HAL 24xy family of high precision programmable linear Hall-effect sensors designed to match the performance, diagnostic and reliability requirements of today's most demanding automotive applications. The products offer extended distance measurement, smaller magnet dimensions, improved robustness and state-of-the-art diagnostic functions for stringent automotive and industrial applications.

According to Micronas Vice President Automotive Dirk Behrens, the HAL 24xy family has been designed to provide robust sensor solutions to automotive customers. The device offers high immunity to temperature variation and increased protection for ESD and EMC, he said. It enables customers to reduce system costs using smaller magnets; alternatively they can increase distance measurements while keeping their existing solutions. Angles up to 180° can be measured even with a simple magnet configuration. The new sensor is particularly suitable for throttle position, pedal and exhaust gas recirculation applications but also for every kind of position detection and contactless potentiometers.

The new product family uses Micronas' latest technology node, a new digital architecture as well as further improved Hall plates. All new family members will leverage upon Micronas' long success in linear Hall-effect sensors, full in-house manufacturing and automotive-proven zero-ppm track record.

Like its predecessors, the HAL 24xy family has an integrated non-volatile memory to store all sensor parameters. Proven in previous generations of Micronas Hall-effect sensors, this memory can be deployed in rough environments with maximum junction temperatures of 170°C.

The sensor's high accuracy is based on a 16-bit signal path with an integrated DSP core delivering a ratiometric 12-bit analog output signal. The designers put extra effort to maximize the sensitivity and minimize the offset drifts over the whole temperature range. This guarantees long-term stability of critical parameters, which ensures the car’s optimum performance for many years. Electrostatic discharge (ESD) is a severe issue in automotive applications and the 8-kV (HBM) rating of the HAL 24xy significantly surpasses other existing linear Hall-sensors in the market today.

Moreover, all new HAL 24xy family members feature enhanced diagnostic functions to improve the detection and identification of potential errors thus facilitating implementation of our customer fail-safe strategy. One first set of features allows the ECU to detect and report problems with the car’s wiring through wire break detection for supply and