Monday, July 10, 2017

ams Wins Innovation Gold Award at Sensors Expo

2017 Sensor Expo judges honor ams for new Accessory Communications Interface, which lets sensor rich smart active noise-canceling headsets run battery free.

ams has won the prestigious Gold Level Innovation Award at the 2017 Best of Sensors Expo Awards (Sensors Expo & Conference, San Jose, California, 27-29 June 2017).

ams won the award for its novel Accessory Communications Interface (ACI), a technology, which enables Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) headsets to operate with no battery in the earphone when connected via a single wire to a host device like a smartphone. The new ACI developed by ams uses the microphone wire – one of four wires in a standard audio cable – to carry power and bi-directional data at a rate of up to 16 Mbit/sec, as well as digital audio signals. Therefore, the ACI can be used through the widely used and mechanically robust 3.5mm analog jack as well as through the analog mode of USB-C.

The innovative development by ams means, that manufacturers can build the smallest, most cost effective and lowest power smart ANC headphones currently available. Beside implementing ams best-in-class ANC, customers can differentiate by implementing a number of sensors such as capacitive touch, proximity, temperature, heart rate, and gesture.

According to the organizers, the Best of Sensors Expo awards ‘recognize advances in sensor and sensor-related technologies, either in the form of novel technologies or as significant improvements in existing technologies’. The judges studied the distinctiveness, potential impact and application of numerous entries, whittling them down to a list of just seven finalists before selecting the ACI technology from ams for the Gold award.

“Due to the ultra low latency and hence the high speed, the smartphones computation power can be used for the required smart data processing. At its heart, this is why this ACI solution enables the slimmest BOM count and hence the probably most cost effective solution available today”, said Christian Feierl, Head of Marketing Audio Sensors at ams.

“We are excited to enable smart, sensor rich in-box ANC earphones and are looking forward to seeing our solutions in the market soon”, he said.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

CCS801/811: Solution of Choice for Air Quality Monitoring

by CK Hamilton
Product Technical Manager

The ams CCS801 and CCS811 gas sensors are fast becoming the solution of choice for the air quality monitoring industry based upon their ultra-low power, high sensitivity to VOC’s, and consistent high reliability. Produced using patent-pending proprietary technologies developed by ams, the CCS801/811 are perfect for air quality monitoring and safety/control type applications. Their ultra-low power consumption and quick response to target gases make them the perfect choice for iOT/Smart Home solutions.

The ams CCS801/811 allows for your choice of an analog or digital gas sensor solution. They monitor air quality for a wide range of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and are packaged in a very small form factor for maximum design efficiency. The CCS811 digital gas sensor makes designing quick and easy with an integrated MCU and ADC with an industry standard I²C interface. The market for CCS801/811 is growing rapidly due to new regulatory requirements and the need to monitor air quality in office buildings, schools, hospitals, and many other public places. Applications where air quality is a concern include:
  • Bathroom fans
  • Industrial ceiling fans
  • Warehouse fans
  • Indoor air spot ventilation systems
  • Indoor air dilution ventilation systems
  • HVAC ventilation systems
  • HVAC controllers
  • Appliances
  • Building Automation
  • Thermostats
  • Residential and commercial kitchen range hoods
  • And many, many more!
PMT has done proof of concept work for the air quality monitoring market utilizing mobile apps, wireless communication, and web portal capability for datalogging, setting alarms, and driving text and email alerts. The web portal allows for data trend analysis with 30 days of logged data, extremely helpful when trying to diagnose issues regarding environmental changes.

The CCS801/811 are highly optimized parts that are feature rich yet incredibly cost effective for high volume applications. The features of the parts include:

  • 2x3mm DFN Package
  • Optimized low-power modes
  • Reduced Cross-Sensitivity
  • Fast heating time
  • Integrated MCU
  • On-board processing
  • Standard digital interface
  • Optimized low-power modes
  • IAQ threshold alarms
  • Programmable baseline
  • 2.7 x 4.0mm LGA package
  • Low component count
  • Proven technology platform
Contact PMT to learn more about the CCS801/811, as well as any of the other ams sensor solutions.

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.