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Encoder-on-a-chip is `world`s smallest`

01 June, 2004

Encoder-on-a-chip is `world`s smallest`

An Austrian chip-maker claims to have developed the world`s smallest ten-bit, magnetic rotary encoder chip. Austriamicrosystems says that its new chip - which combines Hall sensors, analogue circuitry, and digital signal processing, on one device - will minimise the number of external components needed in applications such as motion control, brushless DC motor commutation, and robotics. It could also be used in power tools and automotive applications such as steering, pedal position sensing and headlight controls.

The chips senses the position of an external magnet and can detect 1,024 positions per revolution. It provides simultaneous absolute, incremental and PWM (pulse width modulated) digital output signals.

"Its small physical dimensions and robustness make this device a reliable and cost-effective alternative to optical encoders," says Ralf Kodritsch, marketing manager for austriamicrosystems` sensors and automation business.

"The contactless position sensing and wide operating temperature range make this device ideally suited for harsh environments," he adds.

The 5.3mm by 6.2mm encoder-on-a-chip costs around $4 in 1,000-plus volumes.

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