Industry Article

How to Design Low-Cost Contactless Position Sensors

March 05, 2018 by Chris Anderson

In this video, we’ll demonstrate an inductive sensing technique used for contactless position sensing.

In this video, we’ll demonstrate an inductive sensing technique used for contactless position sensing.

Conventional contactless position sensing methods, particularly Hall effect and magnetoresistive sensors, rely on magnetic fields. While these sensors are widely used, the magnets are costly, and they often need to be shielded from stray magnetic fields, which are particularly problematic in automotive and industrial applications where high currents in the wiring harness generate magnetic fields with the potential to interfere with these sensors. Inductive sensing is contactless, so it won’t wear out, it eliminates the magnet so it’s lower cost, and it’s immune to magnetic fields so it’s more robust. To demonstrate that, we have this evaluation kit for IDT’s ZMID5200 family of ICs, which includes the ZMID5201, the ZMID5202, and the ZMID5203.

In the video below, I'll test these sensors.

With the coil design tool, you have all the freedom to design the coils depending on your application, be it on-axis or end of shaft, off-axis or side shaft, short or long linear strokes, and small or large angles up to 360°, and you always get the full resolution at any angle range. With the inductive sensing techniques that you’ve seen here, you can have robust contactless position sensing using low-cost targets customized to the applications, while also eliminating the cost of magnet-based solutions. To learn more about IDT’s ZMID5200 family of contactless position sensors, visit IDT's website.

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