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Maxim Integrated reference designs promise improved automation

31 Oct 2013

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Maxim Integrated has introduced three low-power reference designs intended to facilitate end-to-end integration of the signal chain and streamline factory automation. The Carmel, Monterey, and Fremont designs have the potential to improve operation and save power and time for engineers, the company said. The industrial reference designs are tested sub-systems that can be customised and include schematics, layout, and firmware. Each reference design integrates several functions for an automated factory task and facilitates rapid prototyping, early software development, and speed of design.

The Carmel sub-system provides a high-accuracy, low-noise analogue output. Carmel is suited for programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and distributed control systems (DCS). The design yields accurate output from high voltages down to true zero. In terms of integrated error reporting, it can detect short circuit, open circuit, brown-out, and over-temperature conditions. It can be flexible to provide both current and voltage outputs, including bipolar signals of -20mA to 20mA and -10V to 10V.

The Monterey sub-system is a high-accuracy, industrial loop-powered sensor transmitter that converts a standard temperature sensor input (RTD PT1000) to a 4–20mA signal that is immune to noise and is constant over long distances. It is suitable for distributed industrial sensor systems. The design's current consumption is less than 2.1mA, which the company says is a 40 per cent improvement over similar products. The design supports 0.1 per cent system accuracy over a full process variable-input range and all design files are included for rapid prototyping.

The Fremont sub-system is a low-power analogue front-end (AFE) that accepts inputs of 0mV to 100mV. It is ideal for low-voltage output sensors, and process control and medical applications. The design exhibits less than 300mW typical power consumption. As a single-ended system, it eliminates the requirement to convert to differential signals. Fast prototyping with all necessary design files is included.

"Analogue integration is accelerating factory automation," said David Andeen, Reference Design Manager at Maxim Integrated. "With these reference designs, engineers can get to market faster with the latest analogue technology in designs that make factories more efficient."

"We continue to see strong demand for reference systems and sub-systems that feature high-performance analogue," said Jim Beneke, Vice President of Global Technical Marketing at Avnet Electronics Marketing, the components operating group of global technology distributor Avnet. "Maxim's innovative designs, coupled with systems like the ZedBoard, make a perfect match for today's engineering challenges."

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