IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems I, Fundamental Theory and Applications vol:54 issue:1 pages:130-140
Traditionally, most of the sensor interfaces must be tailored towards a specific application. This approach results in a high recurrent design cost and time to market. On the other hand, generic sensor interface design reduces the costs and offers a handy solution for multisensor applications. This paper presents a generic sensor interface chip (GSIC), which can read out a broad range of capacitive sensors. It contains capacitance-to-voltage converters, a switched-capacitor amplifier, an analog-to-digital converter, oscillators, clock generation circuits and a reference circuit. The system combines a very low-power design with a smart energy management, which adapts the current consumption according to the accuracy and speed requirements of the application. The GSIC is used in a pressure and an acceleration monitoring system. The pressure monitoring system achieves a current drain of 2.3 mu A for a 10-Hz; sample frequency and an 8-bit accuracy. In the acceleration monitoring system, we measured a current of 3.3 mu A for a sample frequency of 10 Hz and an accuracy of 9 bits.