Excellence in Automotive and Industrial Electronics
Micronas (SIX Swiss Exchange: MASN), a semiconductor designer and manufacturer with worldwide operations, is a leading supplier of cutting-edge IC and sensor system solutions for automotive electronics. Micronas offers a variety of Hall-sensors and microcontrollers for automotive and industrial applications, such as car dashboard, body control, as well as motor management and comfort functions.
Micronas serves all major automotive electronics customers worldwide, many of them in continuous partnerships seeking joint success. While the holding company is headquartered in Zurich (Switzerland), operational headquarters are based in Freiburg (Germany). For more information on Micronas and its products, please visit www.micronas.com.
Hall Sensors and Hall Switches
Hall-effect sensors are becoming more common in factory automation and consumer white-goods. Micronas’ sensor solutions are used in the industrial arena, for example to control robots or automate assembly equipment. They are also widely used in all types of white goods, such as washing machines, clothes dryers, and induction cookers, as well as heating and cooling systems.
A Hall-effect sensor exploits the behavior of a semiconductor in the presence of a magnet. Such a device will generate a voltage proportional to the magnetic field. This can be used to measure position, speed, or other motion. Today, Hall-effect sensors offer a robust, highly reliable and cost-effective solution that replaces electromechanical potentiometers and switches in many applications. The great advantage of Hall-effect sensors is that they provide highly reliable contactless measurements under harsh conditions. Unlike potentiometers and switches, these components are not prone to wear and tear, corrosion, or damage from dirt and vibration.
Micronas today offers the world’s broadest range of Hall-effect sensors. The company pioneered the market in CMOS Hall-effect sensors and was the first to manufacture in CMOS technology. This technology allows integration of the Hall-effect sensing element with logic circuits, volatile, and non-volatile memories.
The increasing functionality over the past years has led to three major product families within the embedded controller product line. Their main difference lies in the overall performance derived from the CPU cores, which range from 8 to 32-bit systems. Micronas' expertise helps customers reduce system costs by integrating functionality onto silicon, such as advanced power-saving modes (PSM) and EMI reduction. All this integration results in one of today's most advanced system solutions for infotainment, entertainment and body control - Micronas' LEAP family concept (Low Emission Automotive Processors), based on an ARM7TDMI® CPU core.
Important features of Micronas’ controller families include:
- Direct battery power operation with Micronas’ easyLIN family of 8-bit controllers combines all LIN bus functions in a single device, thus simplifying the design and reducing the cost of LIN bus modules.
- The patented low-EMI technology, which suppresses radiation in order to avoid interference. The EMI Reduction Module (ERM) is a vitally important and cost-saving feature, particularly for applications in the car interior.
- The CDC family offers superior low-power modes with single quartz-crystal support. The flexibility offered by three additional power-saving modes enables another cost-saving potential by avoiding many external components compared with standard microcontrollers.
- The scalable architecture means that customers can select from a broad range of features in the IC, in order to tailor it exactly to their respective applications. For example, the customer has the freedom to select the sizes of the RAM and ROM blocks and the number of CAN controllers. The complete production process of the ICs is designed to allow these changes to take place with minimum effort, making production very time-efficient and cost-effective.
With the LEAP (Low Emission Automotive Processors) approach, Micronas offers a solution that avoids interference problems and does not need expensive shielding technologies. By spreading the radiated energy with the help of a random generator that continuously varies the clock frequency of the controller, the EMI energy is reduced to a harmless level. This offers a huge potential for cost savings, for example by allowing systems manufacturers to use PCBs with fewer layers and less shielding.