Industrial sensors are typically tasked with detecting, positioning or identifying an object or rotating axis in a factory-automated system. Industrial sensors utilize a variety of technologies, including inductive, magneto-resistive, capacitive, optical, pressure and ultrasonic.
Key design considerations include:
- Non-volatile storage for calibration values
- Small PCB size
- Accurate analog measurement
- Arithmetic for signal conditioning
- Digital communication interface for new emerging standards such as IO-Link
- Optional analog output signal
- Long product life time
- Optional hardware authentication products for secure identification and authenticated confidential communications
“Atmel’s versatile AVR family of microcontrollers enables designers to meet the needs of a variety of sensor applications. First off, there is the small form factor, down to DNF 2x2x0,5 mm. We also provide on-chip true EEPROM, ADC with differential measurement/optional gain stage and internal analog reference voltage remains stable in changing temperatures,” an Atmel engineering rep told Bits & Pieces.
“Meanwhile, efficient 8-/16-bit CPU minimizes power consumption. Additional key specs include serial communication interfaces with Direct Memory Access (DMA) support, internal digital-to-analog converter (DAC), pulse width modulation (PWM) and CryptoAuthentication support, the latter offering a secure vault for root secrets (keys) and secure mechanisms for authentication.”
Interested in learning more about designing industrial sensors with Atmel AVR? You can check out our extensive device breakdown here. Also, be sure to check back tomorrow for part two of this series for an in-depth look at an Atmel-powered sensor device reference design.