The new AS5170 and AS5171 automotive sensors from ams AG (Premstaetten, Austria) were developed as SEooC (Safety Element out of Context) devices, as defined in the ISO26262 functional safety standard. The magnetic position sensors have a System-in- Package (SiP) format. The space-saving package enables the placement of the sensor device in environments that are prohibitive to PCB-based packages.

The sensors provide full data path diagnostics, allowing automotive system OEMs to achieve a higher level of ISO26262 system-level compliance. The diagnostic system built into the AS517x series tests the entire device: from the Hall sensor front end, through the DSP engine (which converts raw measurements of magnetic field strength into sine and cosine vectors), and to the back-end interfaces and pins.

The AS517x devices, qualified to AEC-Q100 Grade 0, measure the absolute angle of rotation. The AS5171 comes in an SiP format, which integrates the sensor die and capacitors in a single, encapsulated three-pin package. The SiP eliminates the requirement to mount a position sensor IC on a PCB, reducing component count.

The AS5171A provides an analog output, and the AS5171B supplies a digital output, which may be programmed either as a PWM interface or as a SENT-compliant interface. The analog AS5170A and digital AS5170B ICs are housed in an 8-pin SOIC package.

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This article first appeared in the June, 2016 issue of Sensor Technology Magazine.

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