Friday, April 21, 2017

NanEye 2D - Smallest Miniature Camera in the Market

by Admir Heljo
Product Technical Manager

The NanEye 2D is an industry leading and award winning digital miniaturized camera. It's based on CMOS technology and measures in at 1mm x 1mm. The compact camera offers 250 x 250 pixel resolution at 3μm pitch.

The NanEye camera provides delay free, smooth video operation resulting in crisp and clear imaging. The camera is mounted on a flat ribbon cable that provides digital bit serial data over an LVDS link at up to 55 frames per second. Due to its low energy interface, the NanEye does not require any complicated shield to meet EMC standards.

The NanEye 2D camera was designed with medical imaging devices in mind that require the smallest possible form factor and high resolution. Some of these applications include endoscopy, laparoscopy, catheters, surgical robots and 3D dental imaging. The camera can be used for both reusable and disposable devices. The NanEye can also be applied to consumer type applications such as eye tracking for virtual reality headsets.

Learn More ➣

Friday, February 17, 2017

TDC-GPX2: High Performance Time-to Digital Converter

by John Monteith
Product Technical Manager

Applications like radar, PET scanners, automatic test equipment, photon counting and mass spectroscopy require very high performance to acquire the data, process the data and deliver it to the data acquisition system for making decisions like radar range, precision timing measurements for ATE and precise mapping in PET scanners. The devices need to be small, light-weight and cost effective to be used in high volume applications. In fact, the GPX2 is already being designed into many of these applications today.

Ams AG has just launched the new high-end Time to Digital Converter, the TDC-GPX2. This new device offers high resolution, 10ps, high update rate to the outside world (up to 70 mega-samples per second) using the low voltage differential signaling interface (LVDS), and it has very low power consumption in operation. All this performance is available in a small 9mm by 9mm QFN64 package. These features make it ideal for use in high performance precision measurement systems.

TDC-GPX2 Applications 

The ability to measure very short time intervals all the way to very long time intervals make the GPX2 an ideal part for a very wide variety of applications. High resolution and fast update rate enable these systems to be very fast and very accurate and can provide more detailed data than has been possible before.

Ams is already a leader in the LIDAR, laser scanner and 3D LIDAR market with the TDC-GPX for high precision ranging applications. The GPX2 provides even higher resolution, better precision and higher update rate that allow customers to develop systems with even higher detail and accuracy.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Lightning Detection That Can Save Lives

by Lauren Heljo
Product Technical Manager

Over 350 deaths have been reported since 2006 from lightning strikes. These casualties occurred in activities involving jet skis, sporting events, boating, swimming pools, golf courses and concerts to simple activities like walking on the beach to hiking, yard work or walking the dog. Most of these deaths could have been prevented had they known lightning was in the area and approaching.

The AMS Franklin Lightning Sensor has the capability to detect lightning and provide situational awareness up to a distance of 24 miles with a high degree of accuracy, both cloud-to-ground and cloud-to-cloud. It also has an automatic antenna tuning which increases sensitivity and it can distinguish between man-made disturbers and real lightning. Because of its very low power consumption and small size, it is ideal for small portable battery operated devices.

The product is used in numerous applications such as marine recreation including boats, jet skis, marine radar, golf carts, ATVs, motorcycles, sporting event safety, weather stations, full safety, uninterruptible power supplies, wearables  and power line conditioners. The AMS Franklin Lightning Sensor is also used in wireless applications that include iOT (Internet of Things).

The Precision Measurement Technology Center developed a product concept module that incorporates the AMS Franklin Lightning Sensor. This module has a blinking LED to inform the consumer that lightning has been detected. To indicate the detection distance, the LED flashes at three different intervals: high, medium and low which indicate the proximity of strikes in the area enabling the user to take appropriate action. The detection range values are:
  • Low Frequency: 6.7 to 24.8 miles
  • Medium Frequency: 8.7 to 14.9 miles
  • High Frequency: 0 to 7.4 miles
Precision Measurement Technologies, an AMS Technology Center, provides full evaluation kits and technical support for testing and reviewing schematics with design recommendations. We assist in debugging software and firmware and other application questions.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

AS5601 - Low Cost Rotary Magnetic Position Sensor

by Admir Heljo
Technical Product Manager

The AMS AS5601 is a low cost rotary magnetic position sensor that is ideal for various rotary knob applications. This contactless sensor provides a 12-bit digital output that measures the absolute angle of a diametric magnetized on-axis magnet. The AS5601 offers magnetic stray field immunity and is equipped with a smart low power mode to automatically reduce power consumption. It also integrates a push button output by detecting sudden air gap changes between the magnet and sensor.


All of these features make the AS5601 ideal for:
  • Washers
  • Dryers
  • Stoves
  • Dishwashers
  • Automotive Controls
  • Medical Equipment
  • RC Robotic Controllers
  • Home Automation Controls
  • and Many Other Contactless Encoder Applications

Reference Design Highlight

To illustrate the functionality of the AS5601, PMT created a reference design for a potential washing machine application. The knob has been programmed for 16 steps, with each step representing a different wash cycle. This information is then displayed on an LCD screen. What we have learned through the reference design process, is that the AS5601 really simplifies the design process through a simple user programmable zero position and device configuration. The programming and output is done over I2C.

This reference design is a perfect example of some of the benefits of using magnetic technology versus more traditional methods, such as potentiometers. It eliminates any contact issues, reliability issues caused by dirt and debris, and durability issues caused by wear and tear of mechanical components. Overall, it will improve and extend overall system life and performance.

Why Choose Precision Measurement Technologies?

PMT offers technology solutions as well as "technology disruption" for all ams/ACAM products specifically in applications that require high levels of technical support and design. We provide reference designs, white papers, review schematics, assist with evaluation kits down to the register level, provide demonstrations and conceptual designs to assist customers with a jump start on the technology. PMT is there for our customers from concept all the way through to production.

Friday, November 7, 2014

PicoCap - The Most Flexible Solution in Direct Capacitance-to-Digital Conversion

by John Monteith
Product Technical Manager, Precision Measurement Technologies

PMT, a leading edge technology solution provider that focuses on high precision measurement applications, can now offer you the PicoCap product family for measuring capacitance. The PicoCap product line currently includes the PCAP01 and PCAP02  and is ideal for any application requiring very low current consumption, The product line can be used with a broad range of sensors.

Applications ideal for this product include pressure sensors, acceleration sensors, humidity sensors, level sensors, touch key sensors and many, many more.  

The capacitance measured by the PicoCap product line can span from a few fF up to several hundred nF and the power consumption can go down to a few μA.

The capacitance range and power consumption, combined with update rates up to 500,000 measurements per second and precision up to 22 bits, makes the PicoCap solution extremely versatile and ideal for a variety of applications.

The PicoCap family should be worth considering and exploring for any battery powered or solar powered application.  The low power consumption can help significantly extend overall operation time of many products.

In today’s society where wireless products engulf our daily lives, the extended operation time can be a major benefit and significant buying motive for the end user.  

At this time, PMT is even developing a new product for the PicoCap family that will cater to the MEMs community.  The new part will be offered in an even smaller package than the current parts and will be sold in die form as well.  It will continue the trend of reducing power consumption and increasing accuracy and precision.      

The technology we offer, along with our world class customer service, makes PMT an ideal partner for any company looking to take the next step and gain a competitive advantage over their competition by differentiating their product.

PMT offers in house technical support to better assist you and to get your product to the marker faster.  Please do not hesitate to contact us at 727-532-6144 or at if you have any questions or if we can be of any assistance.

John Monteith, Product Technical Manager for Precision Measurement Technologies, has 39 years of experience in new product design, project team management, semiconductor design, and applications engineering. John has been with PMT since its inception and for the last five and a half years has been focused on supporting a wide range of projects utilizing time-to-digital technology in high precision measurement applications.

Monday, August 4, 2014

PicoTurn Systems Measure, Improve Turbocharger Performance

by John Monteith
Product Technical Manager, Precision Measurement Technologies

PicoTurn Systems from Precision Measurement Technologies are used to measure Turbocharger rotational speed with high accuracy. Normally this information is used to develop turbochargers and verify turbocharger performance to insure that such performance complies with the specification.

While this is the common use of the PicoTurn, there are some private and government laboratories that are also using the PicoTurn to monitor turbocharger performance as it relates to fuel consumption and emission content. These systems are being used in both engine test cell applications as well as test vehicle applications.

While the configuration of the test equipment used closely resembles that of a typical end customer installation, additional data is collected and then correlated to the parameter of interest, such as fuel consumption or the emissions coming out the exhaust pipe. With today’s turbocharger control systems it is possible to very quickly and accurately adjust the turbocharger speed and profile (in the case of variable geometry turbocharger systems). From the accurate measurement of the rotational speed of the turbocharger, you know the real-time pressure of the inlet air, allowing you to inject just the right amount of fuel to maximize fuel efficiency and to minimize emissions from the engine.

The Precision Measurement Technologies PicoTurn is a test system for measuring turbocharger rotational speed using the eddy current reduction technique. This technique directly senses each vane of the turbocharger wheel with a speed sensor that is mounted in a hole bored into the turbocharger housing as shown and diagramed below. Even at the maximum speed of 400,000 RPM, each vane is sampled multiple times as it passes the speed sensor to insure accurate detection of the vane.

Most engine manufacturers are familiar with the PicoTurn and many use it to test the performance of their turbocharger during engine testing to insure that their turbocharger is operating correctly so as not to damage the turbocharger or engine due to turbocharger malfunction.

There are two versions of the PicoTurn currently available from Precision Measurement Technologies. The BMV6 PicoTurn is currently the most popular version for engine test cell installations. This system consists of the Speed Sensor that gets threaded into the turbocharger housing and the BMV6 Signal Conditioning Module which converts the information received from the speed sensor to either an analog signal proportional to speed or a digital signal with 1 pulse per revolution. This is the configuration that is being used by the laboratories correlating turbocharger performance to fuel consumption and emissions.

While the BMV6 PicoTurn is certainly popular, the PT2G PicoTurn offers much better performance, longer extension cable lengths and can be used with or without the PT2G Signal Conditioning Module. The enhanced features actually make the PT2G PicoTurn more suited to these laboratory applications.

The PT2G PicoTurn features make this system ideal for test vehicle applications because the sensor can be located up to 40 feet from the test equipment and the Speed Sensor can directly feed into engine controllers and test equipment with frequency counter capability. These same enhanced features also make the PT2G ideal for test cells. If a signal conditioning module is desired to get an analog output, the signal conditioning module can be located in the same area as the other test equipment by using the ACAM Sensor Extension Cables up to 40 feet in length. The speed sensors themselves present one pulse per vane instead of one pulse per revolution offering the highest resolution possible. With digital test equipment reading the sensor directly, you get a very high resolution picture of what the turbocharger is doing at any given instant.

The Speed Sensors and the Extension Cables have AMP Super Seal connectors that make them ideal for under hood applications and test cells where fluids can leak onto the cables.

While PicoTurn is used in many everyday applications, there are laboratories that are using PicoTurn for many unique applications. We will continue to feature articles on these unique applications to keep you up to date with how PicoTurn equipment is being used.

John Monteith, Product Technical Manager for Precision Measurement Technologies, has 39 years of experience in new product design, project team management, semiconductor design, and applications engineering.  John has been with PMT since its inception and for the last five and a half years has been focused on supporting a wide range of projects utilizing time-to-digital technology in high precision measurement applications.