The ongoing progression of TPMS technology

By Damien Macq and Ivan Zagan, Melexis

It is almost three decades since the first tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) was deployed in a vehicle model. Due to greater importance being put onto road user safety, over the time that has since elapsed, this technology has experienced extensive uptake. The way that TPMS is implemented is destined to go through radical changes in the future however, and this will lead to the introduction of sensor devices which possess innovative new properties.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System - Melexis

One of the factors that is now influencing TPMS technology is the ever more acute need to reduce both the weight and size of the sensor modules. It is the battery that represents the largest and heaviest part of the module, so its dimensions have to shrink if this downsizing of the module is to be accomplished.
Technical Drawing Tire Pressure - Melexis
However, the autonomous lifetime of the sensor module needs to be maintained for as long as possible. Therefore increasing engineering resources must be focused on reducing the sensor IC’s power budget to mirror any reduction in battery capacity. Likewise, the board real estate utilized by the sensor IC and it’s accompany components needs to be shrunk significantly.

Reductions in overall system size are already being witnessed through greater integration, but still more is going to be mandated to cope with the addition of new functionality.

The industry is set to begin utilization of tire mounted sensor (TMS) technology in the coming years. This will see modules directly attached to the inner liner of the tire, so that parameters such as tread depth, road surface condition and vehicle load can be taken into account. 

The MLX91804 TPMS IC delivers superior sensor performance with groundbreaking power consumption characteristics.

There are certain to be eventful times ahead within the TPMS sector and Melexis is already working with leading automobile manufacturers and their tier 1 technology partners to deliver highly advanced, game-changing sensor devices to address the challenges being faced. These devices will enable marked reductions in both module size and power consumption, as well as increased levels of accuracy, functionality and robustness.

Our recently released MLX91804 TPMS IC embodies this technological progression. Featuring a high precision MEMS-based pressure sensing element and a sophisticated microcontroller, this next generation device offers ground-breaking power consumption characteristics (with less than a third of the standby current that devices from the competition are able to achieve), while simultaneously delivering superior sensor performance.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System - MelexisThe IC’s 315/433 MHz frequency wireless transmitter can cope with data rates of 150 kbits/s and a high-g range accelerometer supports extended sensor module functionalities.

The MLX91804 is supplied in a rugged 14-pin DFN type lead-less package. As this takes up an area of just 5mm x 4mm, the footprint of this device is 60% smaller than any competing TPMS IC that is currently available.

Contact our global direct sales team to explore how our TPMS solutions can help.

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