SENSORS: Mixed-signal MCU measures sensor signals in microvolt range

Sunnyvale, Calif. – The MAXQ7670 system-on-chip (SoC), mixed-signal microcontroller for sensor applications is the newest member of Maxim Integrated Products' MAXQ RISC microcontroller line.

The MAXQ7670 is touted as the lowest-cost, most complete system solution for measuring signals in the microvolt range from sensors with differential outputs, such as anisotropic magnetoresistive (AMR) sensors. AMR sensors are typically used for contactless sensing of linear or angular displacement in automotive or industrial applications. The MCU calculates the angle of displacement in real time and outputs the results on a CAN network.

The new MCU requires only 5mm x 5mm of board space, yet integrates all of the functions needed to accurately measure the low-amplitude signals from multiple AMR sensors without any external amplification. According to the company, this results in lower system cost due to reduced BOM and smaller PCB area, while The modular architecture enables fast development of application-specific end products..

The MAXQ7670 is designed to digitize and process signals in harsh, space-constrained environments, and is targeted for automotive applications such as steering, braking, and throttle position control, as well as industrial control applications including valve positioning and shaft rotation.

The MAXQ7670 features eight single-ended/four differential inputs, followed by a programmable-gain differential amplifier (1x or 16x) and 250ksps ADC with 10-bit resolution. It digitizes sensor outputs for very precise real-world measurements, monitors supply-rail voltage to respond to power failure conditions, and integrates a watchdog timer to ensure reliable operation.

Its digital interfaces consist of a CAN 2.0B controller, SPI(TM), JTAG, and seven general-purpose I/Os. A general-purpose timer with capture, compare, and PWM capability is

The MAXQ7670 includes a 16-bit RISC MAXQ microcontroller core, which is enhanced by sixteen 16-bit registers. The device can process digitized data and execute user applications at up to 16MIPS. Additionally, the MAXQ7670 integrates 2KB of SRAM for data and 64KB of automotive-grade flash memory.

The new MCU is available in a space-saving, 5mm x 5mm, 40-pin TQFN package, and is fully specified over the -40 degrees Celsius to +125 degrees Celsius automotive temperature range.

Prices start at $3.97 (1000-up, FOB USA). Maxim's website offers many application notes and software examples to use with the MAXQ family of products.

For further information and to view app notes and software examples visit

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