AFE block serves as I/V converter for sensors

AFE block serves as I/V converter for sensors

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By eeNews Europe

Apart from that restriction, the block is designed to be suitable for a variety of sensor applications based on optical, mechanical, chemical and other methods. The block is available for license for inclusion in ASICs and system chips. It is intended for applications ranging from optically based monitoring through medical, and life-science systems up to consumer smartphones and onto industrial applications.

The Si310 converts current captured from the sensor system to a differential output voltage, ready to be amplified. The current to voltage conversion is achieved using a proprietary transimpendance amplifier (TIA) architecture with 8 digitally programmable current ranges, extending from 8 microamps up to 1 milliamp in binary increments making the block suitable for connection to a wide variety of sensors with varying full-scale current outputs.

One of the functionalities that the SCi310 provides is maintaining constant voltage at the input pin for all operating modes and input currents. This useful when biasing PIN diodes in the photoconductive region, which is often preferred over photovoltaic region because of its linearity.

The IP block can measure input current values in the range of hundreds of picoamps up to 1 milliamp but it also has the ability to detect small input current differences with additional switched-capacitor circuit for generating signal difference and amplification. The IP can be modified to accommodate custom current ranges up to 10 mA for the industrial applications. It can also be upgraded for multi-channel inputs.

Although the SCi310 design has been silicon proven in TSMC 0.18-micron, we can help JVD to port the technology to other foundries to meet their customer’s expectations," said Damir Vuk, CEO of Systemcom, in a statement distributed by JVD. "The SCi310 is developed by the Systemcom Ltd. team and now is available for integration into JVD Analog ASICs thanks to the relationship between JVD and Systemcom announced in 2013."

Systemcom was founded in 1993 and has performed microprocessor-related design work for Intel and Compaq/HP. Later through a contract with Robert Bosch the company expanded into mixed-signal and analog design.

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