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Microbridge Offers Rejustor-Based Signal-Conditioning Chip

February 4, 2008

The single-chip bridge-sensor conditioner connects directly to the piezoresistive sensor to provide analog calibration, temperature-compensation, and amplification.


DesignCon 2008, Santa Clara, CA -- A leader in innovative analog calibration technology, Microbridge Technologies Inc. introduced the "world's first Rejustor-enhanced analog integrated circuit," the MBSTC-02. The integrated CMOS device is the first active analog circuit incorporating Microbridge's patented passive, polysilicon adjustable resistor technology, known as Rejustors.

The MBSTC-02 simplifies the design process, allowing sensor calibration and temperature compensation after final assembly, which negates cumulative errors associated with the assembly processes, such as manufacturing tolerance errors, error introduced by stress, packaging, etc. Low-cost and high-precision adjustment replaces the requirement for digital signal conditioning. The MBSTC-02 enables the use of lower cost sensors in precision applications, thereby increasing their value in the market.

"This device is well suited for applications in sensors having wide manufacturing variation in both offset and sensitivity, along with temperature-induced offset and sensitivity drift," said Bob Frostholm, Vice President of Marketing and Microbridge. "This marriage of the Rejustor and op amp demonstrates the compatibility of standard CMOS manufacturing processes with simplified MEMS post-processing, to bring analog adjustability to CMOS, for enhanced performance and precision."

The MBSTC-02 incorporates low-noise operational amplifiers with Rejustors to provide precise signal conditioning with integrated temperature correction for use with sensors with a negative TC sensitivity. Rejustors are passive adjustable resistors whose ohmic values can be field-adjusted to better than 0.1% tolerances, perfect for Wheatstone bridge sensor–based applications. This high-precision differential instrumentation amplifier provides complete analog calibration, compensation, and amplification for any bridge-type sensors, such as pressure sensors, strain gauges, humidity sensors, and accelerometers.

The MBSTC-02 enables adjustment and verification to be performed in a single temperature cycle. It operates over temperatures ranging from –40°C to 125°C, with a small footprint for high-density applications. Adjustment is performed in-circuit after assembly and packaging. The adjustment process is isolated from the signal path, allowing true in-circuit adjustment. Once adjusted, the MBSTC-02 maintains its configuration indefinitely without standby power or a boot-up sequence.

Microbridge is exhibiting in booth 842 at DesignCon, Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA, and February 4–7. The company is also present at the International Solid State Conference, ISSCC2008, Marriott, San Francisco, CA, and February 3–7. Dr. Les M. Landsberger, CTO and founder of Microbridge, will be presenting a paper: Session: 32.6 "Single-Chip CMOS Analog Sensor-Conditioning ICs with Integrated Electrically-Adjustable Passive Resistors," at 3:45 PM on Wednesday, February 6.

Pricing & Availability
Production products will be available in a QFN-16 package. The new MBSTC-02 Bridge is currently sampling and will cost $1.99 each in quantities of 1000. For sales enquiries, contact Microbridge at sales@mbridgetech.com.

For more information on Rejustors, please read the Microbridge technical whitepaper on Rejustors. Contest and product images are available at available on the Web.

Rejustors
Rejustors are electrically adjustable MEMS-based micro-resistors whose resistance can be adjusted from the manufactured value with very high precision. Rejustors have the same electrical behavior as quality precision fixed resistors, with the added benefit that the resistance can be adjusted, in-circuit, as required for each application. During adjustment, the Rejustors are physically changed to match the electrical response of the sensor. Rejustors take full advantage of standard CMOS technology and are a combination of proven, high-volume technologies that provide an analog replacement for mechanical, digital, and matched component compensation techniques.

About Microbridge
Microbridge Technologies Inc. is the leading manufacturer and licensor of next-step electronic-calibration products and solutions in the consumer, automotive, medical, and other industries that need to improve manufacturing yields and productivity and enter new markets. Microbridge's resistor-calibration products (Rejustor) and enabling technology are the "first integrated calibration and temperature-compensation systems for analog circuit designs and production. Microbridge's technology enables product designers to achieve one-step calibration and passive adjustment, is adaptive and adjustable in circuit, and allows calibration in the analog domain to improve the design of current and future products. Microbridge is a privately held company with headquarters in Montreal, Canada, and offices in Boston, MA, and San Jose, CA.


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