Low ohmic current sensing resistors reduce power supply footprint

Low ohmic current sensing resistors reduce power supply footprint

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By Nick Flaherty

The LCS series of resistors uses a proprietary thin film technology to acheive low ohmic values for use in very accurate current sensing applications.  Most thin film chips have a minimum value in the range of one to 10Ω, but the LCS series extends this down to 100mΩ.  The resistors also feature low sensitivity to temperature variations.

The resistors are aimed at designers of power supplies, battery monitoring, process control and point of load converters, as well as industrial, medical, instrumentation and IT. They offer a level of precision of ±0.5% and ±50ppm/°C, providing higher precision and temperature stability of current measurement.  While there are currently a few thin film chip products below one ohm that use the nickel phosphorus material traditionally used for low value films, the film system delivers lower TCRs (temperature coefficient of resistance) in the hundreds of milliohms range.

Available in five sizes from 0603 to 2512, LCS resistors feature high power ratings, e.g. 1W for 2512, which is comparable to thick film ratings.  This also enables smaller footprints to be used.  Enhancing reliability and reducing field failures in industrial applications, LCS also feature anti-sulphur terminations.

A major factor driving the demand for this type of product is the growth of battery powered equipment.  The LCS series bridges the gap between the ohmic values offered by bulk metal chips and those of conventional nichrome thin film chips. Whilst thick film chips are also available in this very low ohmic range, LCS offers superior precision, offering the lowest TCR for precision current sensing available in the 0.1 to 1 Ω range.

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