3D Hall-effect position sensor enables faster real-time control

October 13, 2021 // By Rich Pell
3D Hall-effect position sensor enables faster real-time control
Chipmaker Texas Instruments has introduced what it says is the industry's most accurate 3D Hall-effect position sensor that provides speed and precision for faster real-time control.

The first device in a new family of 3D Hall-effect position sensors designed to meet a wide range of industrial needs, the TMAG5170 3D Hall-effect sensor enables engineers to achieve uncalibrated ultra-high precision at speeds up to 20 kSPS for faster and more accurate real-time control in factory automation and motor-drive applications. The sensor also provides integrated functions and diagnostics to maximize design flexibility and system safety, while claimed to use at least 70% less power than comparable devices.

The TMAG5170 provides a low 2.6% full-scale total error at room temperature and features best-in-class drift of 3% total error – 30% lower than the next closest competitor – along with at least 35% lower error than comparable devices in the presence of a cross-axis field. Together, says the company, these features enable the TMAG5170 to deliver higher accuracy than any other 3D Hall-effect position sensor, eliminating the need for end-of-line calibration and off-chip error compensation, and simplifying system design and manufacturing.

The TMAG5170 eliminates the need for off-chip computation and enables flexible sensor and magnet orientations by integrating features such as an angle calculation engine, measurement averaging, and gain and offset compensation. These features simplify design and maximize system flexibility, enabling faster control loops, reduced system latency and simpler software development – regardless of sensor placement.

The sensor's integrated computation functions also reduce the system's processor load by as much as 25%, enabling engineers to use general-purpose microcontrollers (MCUs) such as TI's low-power MSP430 MCUs to minimize overall system cost. In addition, says the company, the TMAG5170 increases safety with a unique set of smart diagnostic capabilities – such as checks for communication, continuity and internal signal path – as well as configurable diagnostics for the external power supply, magnetic field and system temperature, allowing engineers to customize a safety scheme at both the chip and system level for long-term reliability and lower design costs.

The TMAG5170 provides multiple operation

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