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Car sensor boasts low gain, high input impedance

25 May 2012

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Plessey Semiconductors' EPIC sensor technology has been creating considerable interest with car manufacturers as it can be used to provide low cost, reliable detection systems for several automotive applications, said the company. Plessey will be launching the PS25203 that claims to have lower gain and higher input impedance, making it ideal for certain types of contactless ECG measurement such as driver fatigue monitoring or seat occupancy.

There are several applications where EPIC can be used in cars. For example, driver monitoring for health and alertness by detecting heart rate and respiration or determining the occupancy of the car to adjust the ride, handling and air bag deployment depending on the size and location of occupants. The EPIC sensor electrodes can be easily and discretely incorporated inside the seat backs to acquire the necessary biometric data.

"Regulations and economics are meaning that car designs are all becoming very similar so that manufacturers have to differentiate their products by the user features and comfort inside the car," said Derek Rye, Plessey Semiconductors' marketing manager. "We are only just starting to explore the new and exciting ways that these innovative sensors can be used to enhance and improve safety."

EPIC sensors are in commercial production by Plessey Semiconductors. By adjusting the DSP and amplification circuitry, the sensors can be tuned for detection at a distance as required for these automotive applications. Volume production pricing for the PS25203 is in the region of $1-2. The PS25203 is supplied in a custom 4-pin PCB hybrid package measuring 10.5 x 10.5 x 3.45mm.




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