The following technologies were some of the many new products announced at this year's Sensors Expo, held in San Jose, CA last week.

Inertial Measurement Units

The NavChip™ family of inertial measurement units (IMUs) was introduced by Thales Visionix (Aurora, IL). The MEMS-based NAVCHIP family integrates into a broad range of high-performance commercial applications, including motion tracking for virtual reality, drone navigation, and robotic control. A robust architecture and advanced signal processing techniques, coupled with its miniature size and environmental ruggedness, make NavChip suitable for embedded applications where extremely small size, weight, and power consumption are required. They are fully factory-calibrated, and temperature compensated over an operating range of -40 to +85 °C.

Sensor Microcontrollers

AVR® microcontrollers (MCUs) have long been used to create highly responsive sensor nodes because of their cost-effectiveness and ease of implementation. Microchip Technology (Chandler, AZ) introduced two new tinyAVR MCU series models – the ATtiny3217 and ATtiny3216 – designed for reliable operation in harsh environments. Suited for sensor applications including capacitive touch interfaces, the devices incorporate two Analog-to-Digital Converters (ADCs) that enable systems to implement touch control simultaneously with other analog measurements. One ADC can be used with the Peripheral Touch Controller (PTC) for touch signal acquisition, while the second one monitors other inputs such as thermistors and pressure sensors, or both ADCs can be used for faster sampling of different types of sensors.

Wireless Transducers

TE Connectivity (Fremont, CA) introduced the M5600 24-bit ADC digital output wireless transducer that eliminates hard wiring and provides remote process control and monitoring via Bluetooth. The series is suitable for measurement of liquid or gas pressure, even for difficult media such as contaminated water, steam, and mildly corrosive fluids. The wetted material of the pressure port is made of either 17-4 PH or 316L stainless steel. No O-rings, welds, or organics are exposed to the pressure media. The M5600 is weatherproof and enclosed in a stainless steel and polycarbonate housing.

Pressure Transducers

DunAn Sensing (San Jose, CA) announced the availability of MDC (MEMS DURAsense Core) harsh media-compatible pressure transducers that use DURAsense packaging and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) pressure sensor integration to provide highly accurate pressure outputs in space-limited applications, including pumps, hydraulics, pneumatics, valves, and handheld devices. The MDC Series is a ceramic packaged button module “Core” comprised of a ceramic substrate on which the MEMS piezoresistive pressure sensor is mounted. The Core utilizes media-compatible rear-entry packaging for media contact with the silicon sensor, eliminating the contact of bond wires and electrical signals to the media.

MEMS IMUs

The DMU30 from Silicon Sensing (Devon, UK) is a family of high-performance inertial measurement units (HPIMUs). The MEMS IMUs are alternatives to “FOG-grade” IMUs for use in motion sensing applications ranging from unmanned vehicle navigation, to surveying and mapping. The DMU30 is a full six-degree-of-freedom IMU providing 3-axis outputs of angular rate and acceleration, delta angle and velocity, and temperature, at 200Hz. The family incorporates VSG3QMAX high-Q inductive resonating ring gyroscopes and capacitive accelerometers.

Did you attend Sensors Expo this year? What cutting-edge sensor technologies stood out to you? Share your comments below.