AN990 Analog Sensor Conditioning Circuits – An Overview Author: Kumen Blake Microchip Technology Inc. INTRODUCTION Target Audience This application note is intended for hardware design engineers that need to condition the output of common analog sensors. Goals • • • • Review sensor applications (e.g., temperature) Review sensor types (e.g., voltage output) Show various conditioning circuits Give technical references Description Analog sensors produce a change in an electrical property to indicate a change in its environment. This change in electrical property needs to be conditioned by an analog circuit before conversion to digital. Further processing occurs in the digital domain but is not addressed in this application note. The applications mentioned are: • • • • • • • • • • Electrical Magnetic Temperature Humidity Force, Weight, Torque and Pressure Motion and Vibration Flow Fluid Level and Volume Light and Infrared (IR) Chemistry For each type of electrical property, commonly used conditioning circuits are shown. Each circuit has an accompanying list of advantages and disadvantages, and a list of sensor types appropriate for that circuit. The electrical properties covered are: • • • • • In addition, circuit and firmware concerns common to many embedded designs are briefly mentioned: • • • • • Input Protection Sensor Failure Detection Filtering Analog-to-Digital (A-to-D) Conversion Correction of Results References to documents that treat these subjects in more depth have been included in the “References” section. SENSOR APPLICATIONS This section reviews a few analog sensor applications. For each application, a list of common sensor types is given for convenience. A good resource for many of these applications is OMEGA® Engineering’s handbooks [1, 2]. There are many more analog sensors than the ones discussed in this application note. For example: • Time/frequency counters  • Distance ranging sensor  • Current sensing transformer  Emphasis is placed on the electrical behavior of the various sensors. It is necessary to know this information when selecting an appropriate sensor conditioning circuit. Electrical These applications measure the state at some point in an electrical circuit. They include monitoring the condition of a crucial electrical circuit or power source. TABLE 1: ELECTRICAL APPLICATIONS Sensor Electrical Parameter Voltage Voltage Current Current Charge Charge Voltage Current Resistance Capacitance Charge © 2005 Microchip Technology Inc. DS00990A-page 1 AN990 Magnetic Motion and Vibration These sensors are used to detect magnetic field strength and/or direction. They are commonly used in compasses and motor control . Some common analog motion and vibration sensors are listed in Table 6. In many cases, more integrated solutions are available. TABLE 2: TABLE 6: MAGNETIC APPLICATIONS Sensor Electrical Parameter Hall effect  Voltage Magneto-resistive Resistance MOTION AND VIBRATION APPLICATIONS Sensor Electrical Parameter LVDT  AC Voltage Piezo-electric Voltage or Charge Temperature Microphone Voltage The most common sensor application is temperature measurement. Some common sensors are listed in Table 3. Overviews of temperature sensors can be found in the references [14, 15]. Motor Sensors  Voltage, Resistance, Current, ... Ultrasonic Distance  Time IC Accelerometers Voltage TABLE 3: TEMPERATURE APPLICATIONS Sensor Electrical Parameter Flow Many different approaches are used for measuring the flow of liquids and gases. A short sample is shown in Table 7. Thermocouple [19, 20] Voltage RTD  Resistance Thermistor [16, 17] Resistance IC Voltage IR Thermal Sensor Current Magnetic Flow Meter AC Voltage Thermo Piles Voltage Mass Flow Meter (temperature) Resistance Humidity Ultrasound/Doppler Frequency Two common ways to measure humidity are listed in Table 4. It is often necessary to compensate for temperature in these applications. Hot-wire Anemometer  Resistance Mechanical Transducer (e.g., turbine) Voltage, ... TABLE 4: TABLE 7: Sensor Electrical Parameter HUMIDITY APPLICATIONS Sensor Electrical Parameter Capacitive Capacitance Infrared (IR) Current Force, Weight, Torque, and Pressure Fluid Level and Volume Table 8 gives several examples of fluid level sensors. Fluid volume in a rigid container can be calculated from the level. TABLE 8: The sensors in this section measure a mechanical force or strain. Common types are listed in Table 5. TABLE 5: FLOW APPLICATIONS FORCE, WEIGHT, TORQUE, AND PRESSURE APPLICATIONS Sensor Electrical Parameter Strain Gage [8 - 10] Resistance Load Cell Resistance Piezo-electric Voltage or Charge Mechanical Transducer Resistance, Voltage, ... DS00990A-page 2 FLUID LEVEL AND VOLUME APPLICATIONS Sensor Electrical Parameter Ultrasound Time Mechanical Transducer Resistance, Voltage, ... Capacitive Capacitance Switch (e.g., vibrating) On/Off Thermal — © 2005 Microchip Technology Inc. AN990 Light and Infrared (IR) Advantages Light and IR are used to detect the presence of objects (e.g., people in a burglar alarm) and reduction in visibility (smoke and turbidity detectors). • • • • TABLE 9: LIGHT AND IR APPLICATIONS Sensor Disadvantages Electrical Parameter Photodiode [22, 23] High input impedance Low bias current (CMOS op amps) Positive gain Simplicity Current • Limited input voltage range • Input stage distortion • Amplifies common mode noise Chemistry Sensor Examples Table 10 gives a short list of sensors that detect chemical conditions. • Thermocouple • Thermo pile • Piezo-electric film TABLE 10: CHEMISTRY APPLICATIONS Sensor Electrical Parameter pH Electrode Voltage (with high output impedance) Solution Conductivity Resistance CO Sensor Voltage or Charge Turbidity (photodiode) Current Colorimeter (photodiode) Current BUFFER FOR HIGH IMPEDANCE VOLTAGE SOURCE This circuit requires a FET input op amp (e.g., CMOS input); see Figure 2. The FET input gives very high input impedance and very low input bias current, especially at room temperature (the ESD diodes conduct more current at higher temperatures). The operational amplifier (op amp) is used as a non-inverting amplifier. VDD BASIC SIGNAL CONDITIONING CIRCUITS MCP6XXX VSEN This section is organized by the sensor’s electrical property. For each sensor electrical property listed, one or more conditioning circuits are shown. Advantages, disadvantages and sensor examples are listed for each circuit. VOUT R1 R2 FET Input Op Amp Voltage Sensors The circuits in this section condition a voltage produced by a sensor. FIGURE 2: Non-inverting Gain Amplifier for High-Impedance Sensors with Voltage Output. NON-INVERTING GAIN AMPLIFIER Advantages Figure 1 shows a non-inverting gain amplifier using an op amp. It presents a high impedance to the sensor (at VSEN) and produces a positive gain from VSEN to VOUT. • • • • VDD Disadvantages MCP6XXX VSEN VOUT R1 Very high input impedance Very low bias current (CMOS op amps) Positive gain Simplicity R2 • Limited input voltage range • Input stage distortion • Amplifies common mode noise Sensor Example • pH electrode FIGURE 1: Non-inverting Gain Amplifier. © 2005 Microchip Technology Inc. DS00990A-page 3 AN990 The pH electrode’s impedance is a function of temperature and can be quite large. Its output voltage is proportional to absolute temperature. INVERTING GAIN AMPLIFIER Figure 3 shows an inverting gain amplifier using an op amp. It presents an impedance of R1 to the sensor (at VSEN) and produces a negative gain from VSEN to VOUT. VOUT VSEN • Remote thermocouple • Wheatstone bridge INSTRUMENTATION AMPLIFIER R2 Inverting Gain Amplifier. Advantages • • • • Disadvantages Sensor Examples MCP6XXX FIGURE 3: • Resistive isolation from the source • Large input voltage range is possible • Rejects common mode noise; it is good for remote sensors • Simplicity • Resistive loading of the source • Input stage distortion VDD R1 Advantages Resistive isolation from the source Large input voltage range is possible Virtually no input stage distortion Simplicity Figure 5 shows an instrumentation amplifier circuit that conditions a remote voltage sensor. The input resistors provide isolation and detection of sensor open-circuit failure. It amplifies the input difference voltage (VSEN+ – VSEN–) and rejects common mode noise. VDD R1 R2 Disadvantages VSEN+ • Resistive loading of the source • Inverting gain • Amplifies common mode noise VSEN– R2 R1 VDD Instrumentation Amplifier VOUT VREF Sensor Examples • Thermo pile • High-side (VDD) voltage sensor FIGURE 5: Instrumentation Amplifier. Advantages DIFFERENCE AMPLIFIER Figure 4 shows a difference amplifier using an op amp. It presents an impedance of R1 to each end of the sensor (VSEN+ and VSEN–) and amplifies the input difference voltage (VSEN+ – VSEN–). • Excellent rejection of common mode noise; it is great for remote sensors • Resistive isolation from the source • Detection of sensor failure Disadvantages R1 R2 • Resistive loading of the source • Cost VSEN+ VDD Sensor Examples MCP6XXX VOUT VSEN– R1 FIGURE 4: DS00990A-page 4 R2 • Remote thermocouple • Remote RTD (with a current source or voltage divider to produce a voltage from the RTD) • Wheatstone bridge - Strain gage - Pressure sensor Difference Amp. © 2005 Microchip Technology Inc. AN990 VARIABLE GAIN FOR WIDE DYNAMIC RANGE AND NON-LINEAR SENSORS Figure 6 shows a Programmable Gain Amplifier (PGA) used to condition multiple sensors. These PGAs (e.g., MCP6S22) allow the user to select an input sensor and gain with the SPI™ bus. It can also help linearize non-linear sensors (e.g., a thermistor; see ). VDD MCP6SX2 VSEN VDD CH0 CH1 VREF To other sensor FIGURE 6: Amplifer. The circuits in this section condition a current produced by a sensor. RESISTIVE DETECTOR Figure 7 shows a resistor (R1) that converts the sensor current (ISEN) to a voltage (see ), as well as a difference amplifier that amplifies the voltage across the resistor while rejecting common mode noise. . ISEN VOUT SPI™ Control Current Sensors R2 R3 VOUT 4 VSS VDD MCP6XXX R1 VOUT Programmable Gain Advantages • Multiple sensors (input MUX) • CMOS input (high impedance and low bias current) • Digital control (SPI) of input and gain • Linearization of non-linear sources Disadvantages • Input stage distortion • Amplifies common mode noise • Needs microcontroller unit (MCU) and firmware Sensor Examples • Thermistor (with voltage divider to convert resistance to voltage) • Thermo pile • Piezo-electric film © 2005 Microchip Technology Inc. R2 R3 R1 << R2 FIGURE 7: Current Sensor. Advantages • Good rejection of common mode noise • Resistive isolation from the source • Wide input voltage range Disadvantages • Resistive loading of the source • Input stage distortion Sensor Examples • High-side (VDD) current sensor • AC mains (line) current DS00990A-page 5 AN990 TRANSIMPEDANCE AMPLIFIER LOGARITHMIC AMPLIFIER (LOG AMP) Figure 8 shows a transimpedance amplifier (R1 and the op amp) that converts the sensor current (ISEN) to a voltage. The capacitor C1 is sometimes needed to stabilize the amplifier when the source has a large capacitance (e.g., see ). Figure 8 shows a logarithmic amplifier (D1A and the op amp) that converts the sensor current (ISEN) to a voltage proportional to the logarithm of the current. R1 maintains negative feedback when ISEN is small or negative. D1B is used to correct D1A for temperature changes. ISEN R1 VOUT VDD R2 ISEN D1A VOUT C1 R1 VDD VDD R2 MCP6XXX VDD R2 VDD MCP6XXX FIGURE 8: Transimpedance Amplifier. R2 R3 VCOR Advantages • Good impedance buffering of source • Simplicity Disadvantages D1B D1A and D1B are a matched pair in the same package. • Design may need to be stabilized FIGURE 9: Sensor Examples When the source (ISEN) has both polarities, add a diode in parallel with R1 and D1A, and with the opposite polarity to D1A. • IR smoke detector • Photodiode • Photodetector Logarithmic Amplifier. Advantages • Wide dynamic range of currents • Good impedance buffering of source • Simplicity Disadvantages • Needs temperature correction Sensor Example • Photodiode (e.g., PWM encoded digital signal) DS00990A-page 6 © 2005 Microchip Technology Inc. AN990 Resistive Sensors Voltage Divider and Variable Gain The sensors in this section produce a change in resistance. There are four basic strategies shown here for converting this resistance into a measurable electrical quantity: Figure 11 shows a voltage divider (RSEN and R1) that converts the sensor resistance to a voltage. The PGA buffers the voltage divider for further signal processing and can be set to different gains when the sensor is non-linear. • • • • Resistance-to-voltage conversion Resistance-to-current conversion RC decay Oscillator frequency VDD VDD RESISTANCE-TO-VOLTAGE CONVERSION The first strategy for conditioning a resistive sensor is to produce a voltage that is a function of the change in resistance. Voltage Divider Figure 10 shows a voltage divider (RSEN and R1) that converts the sensor resistance to a voltage. The op amp buffers the voltage divider for further signal processing. This approach has been used in AN867 and AN897 [21, 16]. CH0 CH1 RSEN SPI™ Control VREF VOUT 4 VSS To other sensor FIGURE 11: Voltage Divider with PGA. Advantages • Linearization of non-linear sensors • Ratiometric output (with an ADC using VDD as its reference voltage) • Multiplexing several sensors • Detection of open sensor (failure) VDD RSEN MCP6SXX VDD VOUT R1 VDD MCP6XXX VOUT R1 FIGURE 10: Op Amp. Voltage Divider with Disadvantages • Poor common mode noise rejection • Needs a controller and firmware • Voltage is a non-linear function of resistance Sensor Example Advantages • Thermistor • Simplicity • Ratiometric output (with an Analog-to-Digital Converter (ADC) using VDD as its reference voltage) • Detection of open sensor (failure) Wheatstone Bridge Figure 12 shows a Wheatstone bridge that converts a change in resistance to a change in differential voltage. The op amp amplifies the difference voltage. VDD Disadvantages • Poor common mode noise rejection • Voltage is a non-linear function of resistance R1 RSEN VDD MCP6XXX Sensor Examples • Thermistor • RTD • Magneto-resistive compass VOUT RSEN R1 R2 FIGURE 12: Op Amp Circuit. © 2005 Microchip Technology Inc. Wheatstone Bridge – Single DS00990A-page 7 AN990 Advantages Floating Current Source • Good rejection of common mode noise • Ratiometric output (with an ADC using VDD as its reference voltage) • Simplicity • Detection of open sensor (failure) Figure 14 shows a circuit that provides a current source (ISEN) that accurately converts resistance to voltage. R1A, R1B, R1, R2, R3 and the op amp form a current source (Howland current pump). C1 stabilizes this current source and reduces noise. R4 provides isolation from ground for remote sensors. The voltage across RSEN is amplified by a difference amplifier (Figure 4) which also rejects common mode noise. The voltage on top of R4 can be used to detect an open (failed) sensor. Another current source is shown in [3, 18]. Disadvantages • Gain is a function of RSEN • Needs a controller and firmware to correct • Voltage is a non-linear function of resistance . VDD Sensor Examples • Strain gage • Pressure sensor • Magneto-resistive compass R1A R2 R1B VDD MCP6XXX Figure 13 shows another Wheatstone bridge circuit. The instrumentation amplifier amplifies the bridge’s difference voltage and gives excellent rejection of common mode noise. ( R1 VDD R1 RSEN R2 ISEN Instrumentation Amp RSEN VOUT RSEN R3 C1 R1 VREF FIGURE 13: Wheatstone Bridge – Instrumentation Amplifier Circuit. Advantages • Excellent common mode noise rejection • Ratiometric output (with an ADC using VDD as its reference voltage) • Detection of open sensor (failure) Disadvantages • Cost • Voltage is a non-linear function of resistance Sensor Examples • Strain gage • Pressure sensor • Magneto-resistive compass R1 = R1A || R1B R3 << R2 and RSEN Diff. Amp. VOUT R4 FIGURE 14: Howland Current Pump and Resistive Sensor with Difference Amplifier. Advantages • Linearity of resistance to voltage conversion • Ratiometric output (with an ADC using VDD as its reference voltage) Disadvantages • Cost • Requires accurate resistors Sensor Examples • Thermistor • RTD • Hot-wire anemometer Other implementations are shown in application notes AN251, AN717 and AN695 [8, 9, 10]. DS00990A-page 8 © 2005 Microchip Technology Inc. AN990 RESISTANCE-TO-CURRENT CONVERSION RC DECAY The second strategy for conditioning a resistive sensor is to produce a current that is a function of the resistance. Figure 15 shows the basic strategy, where the “I-to-V Amplifier” can be a transimpedance amp (Figure 8) or a logarithmic amp (Figure 9). The third strategy for conditioning a resistive sensor is to produce a voltage with a RC decay (single pole response to a step). The time it takes for the voltage to decay to a threshold is a measure of the resistance. VDD RSEN VDD ISEN R2 I-to-V Amplifier VOUT R2 Figure 16 show a circuit using a MCU circuit that sets a ratiometric threshold (proportional to VDD). The time is measured for both R1 and RSEN separately in order to correct for VDD, C1, and temperature errors. The PICmicro® MCU provides the switching and control needed. Application notes AN863, AN512 and AN929 [7, 11, 14] detail variations of this circuit. PICmicro® MCU RSEN P2 FIGURE 15: Resistance-to-Current Conversion Circuit. R1 P1 Advantages P0 • Ratiometric output (with an ADC using VDD as its reference voltage) • Simplicity C1 FIGURE 16: RC Decay. Disadvantages • Inverting gain Sensor Example • Thermistor Advantages • Ratiometric correction of VDD, C1 and temperature errors • Accurate • Simple timing measurement Disadvantages • PICmicro MCU timing resolution • Digital noise • Threshold must be ratiometric Sensor Example • Thermistor © 2005 Microchip Technology Inc. DS00990A-page 9 AN990 OSCILLATOR FREQUENCY Capacitive Sensors The fourth strategy for conditioning a resistive sensor is to measure a change in oscillation frequency; Figure 17 shows one implementation. It is a state variable oscillator using resistors, capacitors, op amps and a comparator. Its operation and design are detailed in application notes AN866 and AN895 [4, 12]. The sensors in this section produce a change in capacitance. There are four basic strategies shown here for converting this capacitance into a measurable electrical quantity: C4 R2 VDD C2 VDD R7 R3 MCP6XXX C1 MCP6XXX MCP6XXX R1 The first strategy for conditioning a capacitive sensor is to produce a voltage with a RC decay (single pole response to a step). The time it takes for the voltage to decay to a threshold is a measure of the capacitance. Figure 18 measures this time, where the threshold is proportional to VDD. R1 has a low temperature coefficient to minimize temperature errors. The PICmicro® MCU provides the switching and control needed. AN863, AN512 and AN929 [7, 11, 14] detail a similar circuit. VDD R8 VOUT R5 VDD VDD RC decay Oscillator frequency Integration of current Wheatstone bridge RC DECAY R4 VDD • • • • PICmicro® MCU R1 P1 R6 C5 VDD/2 P0 CSEN MCP65XX MCP6XXX FIGURE 17: State Variable Oscillator. FIGURE 18: RC Decay. Advantages Advantages • Accuracy (with calibration) • Good startup • Easy processing using a PICmicro® MCU • Ratiometric correction of VDD and temperature errors • Accurate • Simple timing measurement Disadvantages • Cost • Design complexity Sensor Examples • RTD • Hot-wire anemometer Disadvantages • PICmicro MCU timing resolution • Digital noise • Threshold must be ratiometric Sensor Examples • Capacitive humidity sensor • Capacitive touch sensor • Capacitive tank level sensor DS00990A-page 10 © 2005 Microchip Technology Inc. AN990 OSCILLATOR FREQUENCY SINGLE SLOPE INTEGRATING DETECTOR The second strategy for conditioning a capacitive sewnsor is to measure a change in oscillation frequency. The multi-vibrator (oscillator) in Figure 19 produces a change in oscillation frequency as a function of capacitance. Its operation and design is detailed in AN866 and AN895 [4, 12]. The third strategy for conditioning a capacitive sensor is to integrate a current and measure the elapsed time to reach a voltage threshold. Figure 20 shows a single-slope integrating detector. Switch SW1, controlled by the PICmicro® MCU, zeros the voltage across CSEN at the start of the integration period. The voltage at the output of the op amp linearly increases with time; the rate of increase is set by VREF and R1. The comparator at the output, which can be on the PICmicro MCU, trips at a time proportional to CSEN. AN611  discusses a similar circuit. CSEN R1 VDD MCP65XX VDD VOUT R2 FIGURE 19: VREF to MCU R4 R1 Multi-vibrator (oscillator). SW1 Advantages • Cost • Ratiometric operation • Easy processing using a PICmicro® MCU CSEN MCP65XX R3 VDD MCP65XX VDD FIGURE 20: Detector. Single-slope Integrating Advantages Disadvantages • Reduced accuracy • Easy processing using a PICmicro® MCU • Accuracy depends on VREF and R1 Sensor Examples Disadvantages • Capacitive humidity sensor • Capacitive touch sensor • Capacitive tank level sensor • Cost Sensor Examples • Capacitive humidity sensor • Capacitive touch sensor • Capacitive tank level sensor © 2005 Microchip Technology Inc. DS00990A-page 11 AN990 CAPACITIVE WHEATSTONE BRIDGE Charge Sensors The fourth strategy for conditioning a capacitive sensor is to convert its impedance, at a specific frequency, to a voltage using a Wheatstone bridge. Figure 21 produces a change in differential voltage as a function of change in capacitance. An AC voltage source must drive the bridge; its frequency needs to be stable and accurate. R1 can be a digital potentiometer (digi-pot) that is controlled to zero-out the differential voltage, or it can be a regular resistor. R3 provides a means to bias the instrumentation amp correctly, and to keep the node between the capacitors from drifting over time. It needs to be much larger than C2’s impedance (1/jωC2); the divider equation can be corrected for this resistance, if necessary. Figure 22 shows a simplified model of a “charge sensor.” It is a capacitive source that produces AC energy as a function of a change in the environment. VAC CSEN R1 Instrumentation Amplifier VOUT C2 R2 R3 VREF CSEN VSEN FIGURE 22: Model. Simplified Charge Sensor Figure 23 shows a charge amplifier (C1 and the op amp) that converts the sensor energy (charge) to an output voltage. R1 provides a bias path for the inverting input of the op amp, and creates a high-pass filter pole (keeps the inverting input of the op amp from drifting over time). The change in charge of PSEN appears almost exclusively across C1, which makes this an accurate way to measure the charge produced by the sensor. R1 C1 FIGURE 21: Bridge. Capacitive Wheatstone VOUT PSEN VDD Advantages R2 • Excellent common mode noise rejection • Ratiometric output (with an ADC using VDD as its reference voltage) • Detection of open or shorted sensor (failure) FIGURE 23: • Needs AC stimulus • Power dissipation Advantages • Remote capacitive sensors - Humidity sensor - Touch sensor - Tank level sensor MCP6XXX R3 Disadvantages Sensor Examples VDD Charge Amplifier. • Excellent common mode noise rejection • Ratiometric output (with an ADC using VDD as its reference voltage) • Detection of open or shorted sensor (failure) Disadvantages • Needs AC stimulus • Power dissipation Sensor Example • Piezo-electric film DS00990A-page 12 © 2005 Microchip Technology Inc. AN990 ADDITIONAL SIGNAL CONDITIONING A-to-D Conversion Circuit and firmware concerns common to many embedded designs are mentioned here. Many times, the conditioned sensor output is converted to digital format by an ADC. Many of the circuits in this application note are ratiometric so that variations in power supply are corrected at the ADC (e.g., Wheatstone bridges). Others circuits use an absolute reference for the ADC. Input Protection Sensor inputs need to be protected against Electrostatic Discharge (ESD), overvoltage and overcurrent events; especially if they are remote from the conditioning circuit. AN929  covers these issues. Sensor Failure Detection Some of the circuits in this application note provide means to detect sensor failure. Other examples are given in AN929 . Filtering All of the circuits in this application note also need output filters . Analog filters are used to improve ADC performance. When properly designed, they prevent interference from aliasing (even to DC) and can reduce the sample frequency requirements (saving power and MCU overhead). A simple RC filter is good enough for many applications. More difficult analog filters need to be implemented with active RC filters. Microchip Technology Inc.’s FilterLab® software  is an innovative tool that simplifies analog active-filter (using op amps) design. It is available at no cost from our web site (www.microchip.com). The FilterLab active-filter software design tool provides full schematic diagrams of the filter circuit with component values. It also outputs the filter circuit in SPICE format. Additional filtering can be performed digitally, if necessary. A simple averaging of results is usually good enough. © 2005 Microchip Technology Inc. Correction of Results Sensor errors can be corrected by calibrating each system. This can be accomplished in hardware (e.g., Digi-Pot) or firmware (e.g., calibration constants in non-volatile memory). Correction for other environmental parameters may also be needed. For example, a capacitive humidity sensor may need correction for temperature. This is usually easiest to handle in firmware, but can also be done in hardware. Non-linear sensors need additional correction. They may use polynomials or other mathematical functions in the MCU, to produce a best estimate of the parameter of interest. It is also possible to use a linear interpolation table in firmware; AN942  gives one implementation. SUMMARY This application note is intended to assist circuit designers select a circuit topology for common sensor types. Common sensor applications are listed and described. Many basic signal-conditioning circuits are shown. Sensor-conditioning circuitry, and firmware common to many embedded designs, are briefly mentioned. The “References” section points to other resources that cover particular topics in detail. DS00990A-page 13 AN990 REFERENCES General References  “The OMEGA® Made in the USA Handbook™,” Vol. 1, OMEGA Engineering, Inc., 2002.  “The OMEGA® Made in the USA Handbook™,” Vol. 2, OMEGA Engineering, Inc., 2002.  AN682, “Using Single Supply Operational Amplifiers in Embedded Systems,” Bonnie Baker; Microchip Technology Inc., DS00682, 2000.  AN866, “Designing Operational Amplifier Oscillator Circuits For Sensor Applications,” Jim Lepkowski; Microchip Technology Inc., DS00866, 2003. Current Sensors  AN951, “Amplifying High-Impedance Sensors – Photodiode Example,” Kumen Blake and Steven Bible; Microchip Technology Inc., DS00951, 2004.  AN894, “Motor Control Sensor Feedback Circuits,” Jim Lepkowski; Microchip Technology Inc., DS00894, 2003. Resistor Sensors  AN863, “A Comparator Based Slope ADC,” Joseph Julicher; Microchip Technology Inc., DS00863, 2003.  AN251, “Bridge Sensing with the MCP6S2X PGAs,” Bonnie C. Baker; Microchip Technology Inc., DS00251, 2003.  AN717, “Building a 10-bit Bridge Sensing Circuit using the PIC16C6XX and MCP601 Operational Amplifier,” Bonnie C. Baker; Microchip Technology Inc., DS00717, 1999.  AN695, “Interfacing Pressure Sensors to Microchip’s Analog Peripherals,” Bonnie Baker; Microchip Technology Inc., DS00695, 2000.  AN512, “Implementing Ohmmeter/Temperature Sensor,” Doug Cox; Microchip Technology Inc., DS00512, 1997.  AN895 “Oscillator Circuits For RTD Temperature Sensors,” Ezana Haile and Jim Lepkowski; Microchip Technology Inc., DS00895, 2004.  AN679, “Temperature Sensing Technologies,” Bonnie C. Baker; Microchip Technology Inc., DS00679, 1998.  AN897; “Thermistor Temperature Sensing with MCP6SX2 PGAs,” Kumen Blake and Steven Bible; Microchip Technology Inc., DS00897, 2004.  AN685, “Thermistors in Single Supply Temperature Sensing Circuits,” Bonnie C. Baker; Microchip Technology Inc., DS00685, 1999.  AN687, “Precision Temperature-Sensing With RTD Circuits,” Bonnie C. Baker; Microchip Technology Inc., DS00687, 2003.  AN684, “Single Supply Temperature Sensing with Thermocouples,” Bonnie C. Baker; Microchip Technology Inc., DS00684, 1998.  AN844, “Simplified Thermocouple Interfaces and PICmicro® MCUs,” Joseph Julicher; Microchip Technology Inc., DS00844, 2002.  AN867, “Temperature Sensing With A Programmable Gain Amplifier,” Bonnie C. Baker; Microchip Technology Inc., DS00867, 2003. Other Sensors  AN865, “Sensing Light with a Programmable Gain Amplifier,” Bonnie C. Baker; Microchip Technology Inc., DS00865, 2003.  AN692, “Using a Digital Potentiometer to Optimize a Precision Single-Supply Photo Detection Circuit,” Bonnie C. Baker; Microchip Technology Inc., DS00692, 2004.  TB044, “Sensing Air Flow with the PIC16C781,” Ward Brown; Microchip Technology Inc., DS91044, 2002.  AN597, “Implementing Ultrasonic Ranging,” Robert Schreiber; Microchip Technology Inc., DS00597, 1997. Signal Conditioning  FilterLab® 2.0 User’s Guide;” Technology Inc., DS51419, 2003. Microchip  AN942, “Piecewise Linear Interpolation on PIC12/14/16 Series Microcontrollers,” John Day and Steven Bible; Microchip Technology Inc., 2004. Capacitance Sensors  AN611, “Resistance and Capacitance Meter Using a PIC16C622,” Rodger Richie; Microchip Technology Inc., DS00611, 1997. Temperature Sensors  AN929, “Temperature Measurement Circuits for Embedded Applications,” Jim Lepkowski; Microchip Technology Inc., DS00929, 2004. DS00990A-page 14 © 2005 Microchip Technology Inc. Note the following details of the code protection feature on Microchip devices: • Microchip products meet the specification contained in their particular Microchip Data Sheet. • Microchip believes that its family of products is one of the most secure families of its kind on the market today, when used in the intended manner and under normal conditions. • There are dishonest and possibly illegal methods used to breach the code protection feature. All of these methods, to our knowledge, require using the Microchip products in a manner outside the operating specifications contained in Microchip’s Data Sheets. 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