Microchip Delivers Energy-Efficiency of Current Monitoring in High-temperature Automotive Applications

By Tiera Oliver

Associate Editor

Embedded Computing Design

February 16, 2021

News

Microchip Delivers Energy-Efficiency of Current Monitoring in High-temperature Automotive Applications

With the growth of automation and connectivity throughout the automotive and industrial markets, the need to accurately measure a dynamic current in the presence of high frequency noise is an important matter for modern vehicle and factory applications.

In order to combat electrically noisy environments and address the need for higher accuracy current measurement, Microchip Technology introduced its high-side current sense amplifiers. According to the company, these amplifiers feature the industry’s lowest offset for AEC-Q100 Grade 0 qualified high-side current sense amplifier devices. 

AEC-Q100 qualified, the MCP6C02 amplifier is offered in both a Grade 1 6-pin SOT-23 package and a Grade 0 8-pin 3x3 VDFN package. Delivering a maximum offset error of only 12 µV, the VDFN package offers the lowest offset voltage for any Grade 0 high-side current sense amplifier. Specified over a temperature range of -40°C to +150°C, its offset error allows the use of smaller value shunt resistors while also maintaining a high measurement resolution. This enables a more accurate and energy efficient current measurement solution for those applications exposed to extreme temperatures, like the motor within a vehicle’s water pump. In addition, the VDFN package is processed with wettable flank plating, allowing for visual inspection of the solder joints and removing the need for x-ray scanning as required for traditional DFN packages. 

Microchip’s MCP6C02 and MCP6C04 devices also feature an on-chip electromagnetic interference (EMI) filter and a zero-drift architecture. The EMI filter helps provide added protection against high-frequency electrical interference, such as wireless hotspots and radio frequencies, while the self-correcting architecture brings increased accuracy to current measurement. Per the company, together these features enable developers to create higher performance solutions in a wide variety of applications, such as creating a current controlled feedback loop for a power supply or motor, monitoring and charging batteries, or monitoring current levels for safety reasons.  

Microchip’s new ADM01104 evaluation board supports both the MCP6C02 and MCP6C04 high-side current sense amplifiers, and each device is pin, package and function compatible. To avoid subjection to high voltages and currents, the evaluation board ships pre-populated, providing proper filtering and protection of the input pins. Offering multiple reference voltage options, it enables an evaluation of the device for unidirectional and bidirectional modes of operation.

The MCP6C02 6-pin SOT-23 package option is available for $1.22, while the MCP6C02 8-pin 3x3 VDFN package option is available for $1.41, each in 10,000-unit quantities. The MCP6C04 6-pin SOT-23 package is available for $0.98, also in 10,000-unit quantities. 

For more information, visit Microchip’s website. To purchase products mentioned here, click to order now.

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Tiera Oliver, Associate Editor for Embedded Computing Design, is responsible for web content edits, product news, and constructing stories. She also assists with newsletter updates as well as contributing and editing content for ECD podcasts and the ECD YouTube channel. Before working at ECD, Tiera graduated from Northern Arizona University where she received her B.S. in journalism and political science and worked as a news reporter for the university’s student led newspaper, The Lumberjack.

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