Design Automation


Online tool simplifies sensor design

26 November 2008 Design Automation

National Semiconductor has introduced a sensor signal-path design tool that aims to allow engineers to quickly move from concept to simulation to prototyping of common sensor solutions used in medical, industrial and high-end consumer products.

After selecting the appropriate sensor type, engineers simply click the 'create a design' button. If a particular sensor is not pre-loaded in the tool, users have the ability to create a custom sensor and save it to their workspace. The WEBENCH Sensor Designer tool then generates a design schematic, bill of materials and performance summary, including a detailed error analysis. The tool also allows engineers to make performance-to-price trade-offs and optimise their analog design for their particular sensor by choosing a different op-amp or ADC, or by modifying system values.

Using the ‘Build It!’ option, designers can generate solutions they can use for evaluation and prototyping. Customised prototype kits can be supplied to accelerate test and validation. These kits interface directly to any system with a digital input. For engineers that would like to interface directly to a PC, a separate communications evaluation board (supplied with either an SPI or I²C to USB interface) and software is available. The software analyses the sensor signal path to aid engineers with fine-tuning the design’s overall performance.

For more information contact Marian Ledgerwood, Future Electronics, +27 (0)21 421 8292, marian.ledgerwood@futureelectronics.com, www.futureelectronics.com



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