Telecoms, Datacoms, Wireless, IoT


Alternative to opto for high-speed digital data coupling

5 June 2002 Telecoms, Datacoms, Wireless, IoT

NVE is an electronics component manufacturer specialising in the combination of magnetically-sensitive materials with integrated circuits. This relatively new solid-state magnetic technology is characterised by high sensitivity to magnetic fields coupled with small size and low power. NVE has applied these technologies to magnetic sensors, isolators and magnetoresistive random access memory (MRAM).

These components often outperform existing devices, providing both cost-effective and performance-enhanced solutions to sensing and data transmission applications. NVE's IsoLoop product line is high-speed digital isolators for communications, industrial controls and computer applications. These are 100 megabaud opto-replacement isolators said to be the fastest available in the world. The enabling technology is called magnetoelectronics, spintronics or SPINS.

Cross-section of IsoLoop device
Cross-section of IsoLoop device

IsoLoop devices are created from the combination of micro-machined coils fabricated over resistors made from giant magnetoresistive materials, or GMR. Highly dense, multichannel, isolated interface can be made when this semiconductor-based isolation structure process is combined on-chip with integrated circuits. IsoLoop devices use very little power because they only require a very short pulse to change state. They also have a very good pulse width distortion spec (2 ns) giving superior performance. Propagation delays are less than 10 ns and delay skews are 2 ns. True logic functions are achieved in almost the same sized packages as the original nonisolated logic function, without the need for exta surrounding components.

IsoLoop product have been used in industrial process control, instrumentation, telecommunications, automotive, medical, audio and other varied applications. NVE's continuing research focus includes GMR and magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) materials, particularly as they may be applied to very low field sensing applications, eg nondestructive testing, geophysical anomaly measurement, and biomedical apparatus.





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