Game-Changing Ultra-Compact MEMS-Based Pressure Sensing Devices

20 January 2024

The SO16-packaged MLX90830 absolute pressure sensors support a 2bar to 70bar operational range and are predominantly aimed at use in electric vehicle (EV) thermal management systems.

Capable of pressure measurements in relation to both liquids and gases, they leverage Melexis’ patented Triphibian technology - where the sensing element comprises a suspended cantilever with a membrane at its tip. Piezo-resistive elements embedded within the membrane form a Wheatstone bridge via which a proportional signal is generated. This signal is subsequently amplified and translated into a digital format, ready for the 16-bit digital signal processing (DSP) unit to apply a temperature compensation algorithm, before delivering an analogue output. The cantilever arrangement allows equalisation of the pressure spikes and burst levels, with pressure spike immunity up to 2000bar/ms and static burst level immunity up to 210bar. When compared to non-MEMS solutions, these devices present enhanced accuracy and mechanical ruggedness. They support ASIL B system level functional safety implementations.

“Access to miniaturised and accurate factory calibrated MEMS pressure sensors based on the Triphibian technology enable centralization of thermal management systems in EVs, reducing the size and increasing the reliability of the system,” states Karel Claesen, Melexis’ Product Manager Pressure Sensors. “The MLX90830 can easily be integrated by customers as a standalone device or embedded within the system.”

“With the Triphibian technology, MEMS sensors can increase the pressure levels they measure while also expanding the type of media they face,” adds Laurent Otte, Senior Product Line Manager at Melexis. “Determining pressures of liquid media opens the door to applications both within the automotive industry and beyond, which historically could not be addressed by MEMS technologies.”

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