Inductive position sensors improve reliability, reduce cost

April 19, 2017 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Integrated Device Technology (IDT) has introduced a family of inductive position sensors. The three ZMID520x sensors are automotive qualified to the AEC-Q100 standard and support implementation in safety-related systems compliant to ISO26262 up to ASIL-B. The devices offer superior reliability, flexibility and serviceability at lower system costs, IDT claims.

The sensors are designed for the automotive, industrial and consumer markets and can be used for such end products as vehicles, robots, home appliances and smart automation.


By utilizing an inexpensive printed circuit coil and a simple metallic target, the ZMID520x sensors do away with magnets commonly used with position sensors, offering higher reliability and lowering costs. And, IDT’s inductive technology is immune to magnetic stray fields--parasitic magnetic fields that can cause electro-magnetic interference (EMI) and introduce safety risks. No expensive and complex shielding is required.

“The ZMID520x family represents a new, smarter approach to position sensing,” said Mario Montana, vice president and general manager, IDT’s Automotive and Industrial Products Division. “We have eliminated the need for a magnet—as well as the headache of magnetic stray fields—to boost reliability and hold down system costs.”  

The adaptable mechanical design enables rotational end-of-shaft, side-shaft, linear and arc motion, from small angles up to full 360°. The scalable coil design is tolerant to mechanical misalignment in any direction, horizontal or vertical. The sensor ICs can withstand ambient temperatures up to +150°C as well as other harsh conditions such as dust or humidity. Further, the coils themselves can be subjected to even more severe conditions, such as temperatures higher than 150°C as well as corrosive liquids or gases. Using only three wires, the sensor ICs can be user programmed and calibrated in the final system assembly without requiring additional wiring or components.

The three ZMID520x sensors provide a variety of outputs: the ZMID5201 for analog, the ZMID5202 for pulse-width modulation (PWM), and the ZMID5203 for the SENT (single edge nibble transmission) protocol. Learn more about the ZMID520x family in this video: (