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Data Acquisition SoC Developed for MEMS Sensors

May 31, 2006

Semtech debuts package that can amplify a signal with large offsets for better resolution.


CAMARILLO, Calif. /BUSINESS WIRE/ -- Semtech Corp., a leading supplier of analog and mixed-signal semiconductors for communications, portable devices, computers, and industrial equipment, announced the SX8801R, an ultra-low-power, high-resolution system-on-chip (SoC) for data acquisition from micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) sensors in battery-powered consumer, medical, and industrial systems.

The SX8801R features Semtech's ZoomingADC capability that combines a 16 bit analog/digital converter (ADC) with a 10 bit preamplifier to allow the device to zoom in, or amplify, a small portion of the analog signal and apply the full 16 bit ADC to that part of the signal. The award-winning ZoomingADC compensates for large offsets without saturation or resolution losses, and it can be refocused on different parts of a signal for different applications.

The SX8801R also includes a microprocessor and 22 KB of ROM for customer programmable processing with the output sent to either a serial link or to an LCD. The SX8801R directly reads pressure, temperature, magnetic, chemical, or other Wheatstone bridge-based sensors, ranging from 5 V to 2 mV. With a reference, the device can also access most voltage-generating sensors.

The low-power SX8801R is designed for battery-operated devices with an input voltage range of between 2.4V and 5.5V. The device has three pre-amplifiers and special logic-block power-gating features to allow a designer to specify power consumption for the data acquisition phase in a range between 200 µA and 800 µA, depending on the number of pre-amps used. At 2 kHz, the ADC function draws only 200 µA. The microprocessor is also low power, leveraging Semtech's CoolRISC processor technology, with a real-time clock at 2 µA and a power-performance ratio of 300 µA per MIPS.

"The SX8801R fills a real void in the market for data acquisition devices, offering the volume economics and integration of an ASIC but with a lot more flexibility," said Michel Chevroulet, Sensing Product Group Manager for Semtech's Wireless and Sensing Products Business Unit. "Customers can capitalize on Semtech's data acquisition product family by customizing the ZoomingADC and processing functionality for their requirements, and that they have access to a variety of pin-compatible devices for all stages of a product's lifecycle."

The SX8801R joins Semtech's data acquisition product family, based on technology from the company's June 2005 acquisition of Xemics SA. The device is pin-compatible with the Semtech XE8801AM, which has the same features but with a reprogrammable MTP memory offering the ability to change the operating software. With the ROM version being lower-cost, the SX8801R is well suited to high-volume, price-sensitive applications, whereas the XE8801AM is ideal for customizable devices, prototyping and production ramp-up.

The SX8801R is available in a 12 X 12 mm lead-free LQFP-44 package or as a 4.1 X 4.6 mm die for sports watches, wrist instruments, and other small applications.

Key Features of the SX8801R

  • 16 + 10 bits ZoomingADC with 4 differential/7 single inputs
  • Up to 13 inputs multiplexer
  • 2 MIPS processing power
  • 22 KB ROM
  • 520 Byte RAM data memory
  • 5 reset, 22 interrupt, and 8 event sources
  • Gain programmable from 0.5X to 1000X in 10% steps
  • Lower power clock and prescaler
  • Compatible with Semtech XE8801AM

Availability
The SX8801R is available in production quantities. Pricing for the product will be quoted by the factory because selection of multiple options is required to specify firmware version and packaging. Semtech offers comprehensive design assistance, including field- and factory-based support. Data sheets, volume pricing, and delivery quotes, as well as evaluation kits and samples, are available by contacting salesinfo@semtech.com.

About Semtech
Semtech Corp. is a leading supplier of high-quality analog and mixed-signal semiconductor products. The company is dedicated to providing customers with proprietary solutions and breakthrough technology in power management, protection, advanced communications, human interface, test & measurement, and wireless connectivity products. Publicly traded since 1967, Semtech is listed on the NASDAQ National Market under the symbol SMTC. For more information, contact Semtech Corp. at 200 Flynn Road, Camarillo, CA 93012-8790; phone 805-498-2111; email to info@semtech.com; or visit its Web site.

Semtech, the Semtech logo, CoolRISC and ZoomingADC are marks of Semtech Corp.


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