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Sensors 2017, 17(6), 1312; doi:10.3390/s17061312

A Capacitance-To-Digital Converter for MEMS Sensors for Smart Applications

1
Electronic Technology Department, Carlos III University of Madrid, Madrid 28911, Spain
2
Infineon Technologies, RF & Sensors, Villach 9500, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Mustafa Yavuz
Received: 31 March 2017 / Revised: 30 May 2017 / Accepted: 2 June 2017 / Published: 7 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MEMS and Nano-Sensors)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [5911 KB, uploaded 7 June 2017]   |  

Abstract

The use of MEMS sensors has been increasing in recent years. To cover all the applications, many different readout circuits are needed. To reduce the cost and time to market, a generic capacitance-to-digital converter (CDC) seems to be the logical next step. This work presents a configurable CDC designed for capacitive MEMS sensors. The sensor is built with a bridge of MEMS, where some of them function with pressure. Then, the capacitive to digital conversion is realized using two steps. First, a switched-capacitor (SC) preamplifier is used to make the capacitive to voltage (C-V) conversion. Second, a self-oscillated noise-shaping integrating dual-slope (DS) converter is used to digitize this magnitude. The proposed converter uses time instead of amplitude resolution to generate a multibit digital output stream. In addition it performs noise shaping of the quantization error to reduce measurement time. This article shows the effectiveness of this method by measurements performed on a prototype, designed and fabricated using standard 0.13 µm CMOS technology. Experimental measurements show that the CDC achieves a resolution of 17 bits, with an effective area of 0.317 mm2, which means a pressure resolution of 1 Pa, while consuming 146 µA from a 1.5 V power supply. View Full-Text
Keywords: MEMS; CDC; pressure sensor; capacitive sensors; dual-slope; low power MEMS; CDC; pressure sensor; capacitive sensors; dual-slope; low power
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Pérez Sanjurjo, J.; Prefasi, E.; Buffa, C.; Gaggl, R. A Capacitance-To-Digital Converter for MEMS Sensors for Smart Applications. Sensors 2017, 17, 1312.

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