Highly Robust MEMS-Based Pressure Sensors for Direct & Oil-Filled Sensing Systems

11 December 2014 - Tessenderlo, Belgium. Melexis has introduced two new pressure sensor products which combine high sensitivity and strong linearity. Fully automotive qualified (exceeding AEC-Q100 requirements), the MLX90815 and MLX90816 are discrete micro-electro-mechanical (MEMS) devices for measuring absolute pressure in demanding operational environments. The MLX90815 is designed for optimal performance when determining pressures from 0 to 30 bar absolute, while the MLX90816 covers full scale pressures ranging from 30 bar to 50 bar absolute. Both have a maximum deviation in their linearity of just 0.2% FS. Typical sensitivity for the MLX90815 is 1.5 mV / V / bar and for the MLX90816 it is 0.5 mV / V / bar.

The sensor element incorporated into every one of these MEMS devices consists of a piezo-resistive Wheatstone bridge connected to a micro-machined silicon pressure membrane, fabricated using Melexis’ own proprietary process technology. As pressure is applied to the membrane, a differential voltage change occurs across the outputs of the Wheatstone bridge while a bias voltage is applied to the bridge inputs.

The MLX90815 and MLX90816 pressure sensors can be supported by the company’s high performance sensor interface chips in order to carry out conditioning of the output signal. These sensors are highly suited to a variety of automotive pressure monitoring applications, as well as industrial process controls, domestic appliances, medical equipment and consumer electronics gadgetry.

Each exhibiting an operational temperature range of between -40 °C and 150 °C, the MLX90815 and MLX90816 are able to maintain stable operation in harshest of working conditions. These devices can be employed directly in conventional non-corrosive/non-aggressive media or incorporated into oil-filled sensor modules to further heighten robustness.

“With these latest additions to our product offering, Melexis now reinforces its position as the industry’s one-stop shop for advanced pressure sensing technology,” states Laurent Otte, Product Line Manager for Pressure Sensors. “We are not just supplying leading-edge pressure sensors but are also backing this up with an established portfolio of sophisticated interfacing/signal processing ICs to accompany them.”