TPMS sensor combo enables Smart Tires

November 24, 2020 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Tire sensor combines pressure, status and loading monitoring
With the MLX91805, chipmaker Melexis has developed what it claims to be the world’s first combined sensor for smart tires. The device permits monitoring of tire status and load, in addition to high-accuracy pressure sensing, enabling smart-tire features and value-added services. With the move, the vendor helps automotive OEMs prepare for the forthcoming extension of mandatory tire-pressure monitoring to include commercial vehicles, and to enable future generations of smart tires.

In contrast to widespread rim-mounted TPMS sensors, the MLX91805 is designed to be embedded in the tire. The sensor integrates an 800g XZ-axis accelerometer that senses up to 10,000 samples per second. It also integrates a high-accuracy pressure sensor as well as temperature and voltage sensors.

The MLX91805 is suited to tires for commercial vehicles, including heavy duty, and passenger cars. With new EU regulations on tire-pressure monitoring for heavy duty commercial vehicles intended to come into force in 2022-2024, its multiple sensors help ensure compliance and provide extra information, such as loading, that can extend tire life and boost fuel economy and safety.

Integrating a low-power 16-bit microcontroller and 315/433 MHz RF transmitter that draws just 5mA at 5dBm output power, and with an extremely low 90nA sleep current, the device can run from a tiny battery for the life of the tire. In addition to built-in diagnostics and fault detection, a math coprocessor allows fast and energy-efficient Digital Signal Processing (DSP). Further assisting the development of smart tires, the MLX91805 comes with the company’s library to help application-level software capturing and interpreting the key information like accelerometer signals of the tire footprint area.

The MLX91805 is available in a 5mm x 4mm DFN14 package.

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