Rotor shaft position sensors are required to ensure the efficient and reliable control of Permanent Magnet Synchronous Machines (PMSM), which are often applied as traction motors in electrified automotive powertrains. In general, various sensor principles are available, e.g., resolvers and inductive- or magnetoresistive sensors. Each technology is characterized by strengths and weaknesses in terms of measurement accuracy, space demands, disturbing factors and costs, etc. Since the most frequently applied technology, the resolver, shows some weaknesses and is relatively costly, alternative technologies have been introduced during the past years. This paper investigates state-of-the-art position sensor technologies and compares their potentials for use in PMSM in automotive powertrain systems. The corresponding evaluation criteria are defined according to the typical requirements of automotive electric powertrains, and include the provided sensor accuracy under the influence of mechanical tolerances and deviations, integration size, and different electrical- and signal processing-related parameters. The study presents a mapping of the potentials of different rotor position sensor technologies with the target to support the selection of suitable sensor technologies for specified powertrain control applications, addressing both system design and components development.
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