ALPS : MEMS pressure sensor detects absolute pressure

The application of pressure sensors is continuing to expand, with a wide variety of uses in automotive, medical and industrial devices, as well as in such consumer devices as washing machines. With recent consideration given to adding altitude detection functions to Portable Navigation Devices (PNDs) and pedometers, there is a continual need for pressure sensors mounted in these compact portable devices to be even more compact and thin.

Through the use of its propriety thin-film process, microfabrication and package technologies cultivated over many years, ALPS ELECTRIC has developed this piezoresistive-type pressure sensor, the world's smallest and shortest class of sensor, to detect absolute pressure. The single-element, compact-type (HSPPAR) has a length of 2.5mm, a depth of 2.5mm and height of 0.7mm, while the built-in amplifier hybrid-type (HSPPAA) has a length of 3.5mm, a depth of 3.5mm and height of 1.0mm.

Featuring a lineup that consists of both types of sensors, the HSPP Series contributes to higher levels of engineering freedom in set products. Both types of sensors are capable of being surface mounted.

These sensors detect pressure by reading the electrical signals that result from changes in electrical resistance generated when external pressure causes the diaphragm to flex and distorts the piezoresistive element formed above the diaphragm. The diaphragm's flexible volume is exerted directly as changes in the electrical resistance of the piezoresistive element through the use of a single element structure, making this method suitable for compact-sized components. Through the use of ALPS ELECTRIC's proprietary microfabrication technology, sensor elements have been minimized, realizing a product that is compact and thin.

In addition, this product features minimal fluctuation characteristics due to the stable cavity configuration resulting from etching optimization, Si-Si sealed joints3 that control the impact of external component stress, and the use of ceramic materials that are resistant to fluctuations in temperature.

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ALPS Electric Co., Ltd.

Since its establishment in 1948 ALPS has grown as a comprehensive manufacturer of electronic components. At present ALPS is creating innovative high-value-added products in its main business segments – Components, Magnetic Devices, Communications, Peripheral Products, and Automotive Electronics – which are contributing to the advance of a digital society. ALPS is a global company that carries out its operations with 23 production bases in 9 countries as well as 57 sales bases in 14 countries. Consolidated net sales in the year ended March 31, 2008 amounted to YEN 693 billion.

ALPS ELECTRIC EUROPE GmbH, a subsidiary of ALPS Electric Co., Ltd., was established in 1979. Since 1989, the European Head Office has been located in Düsseldorf, where a team of specialists works in Sales, Marketing, and Product Engineering. The activities of our branch offices in Munich, Paris and Milton Keynes, our sales office in Milan and our European distribution work are co-ordinated from Düsseldorf. ALPS Nordic AB, a 100 percent subsidiary of ALPS ELECTRIC EUROPE GmbH, is based in Sweden and services the Scandinavian market.

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Note: The above text is the public part of the press release obtained from the manufacturer (with minor modifications). EETimes Europe cannot be held responsible for the claims and statements made by the manufacturer. The text is intended as a supplement to the new product presentations in EETimes Europe magazine.

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