At a recent London press conference considered a preview to next month’s Electronica event, Maxim Integrated announced it will unveil its latest technological developments at the Munich-based show. The innovations are wide ranging, from a health monitoring fitness shirt to high-voltage battery sensors and technology that will lower the cost of automotive camera systems.
The company teamed up with Clearbridge VitalSigns and Orbital Research to produce a design for what it describes as a telehealth fitness (“Fit”) shirt that enables patient monitoring from remote locations (Fig. 1). It integrates dry ECG sensor technology, signal-processing technology, a temperature sensor, a motion sensor, an ultra-low-power microcontroller, and wireless electronics.
The shirt, which monitors vital signs, enables medical professionals to perform frequent and less-costly fitness monitoring. Overall, that the company believes the “Fit” shirt will lead to more effective preventive medical care.
High-Voltage Battery Sensor
Also at the London conference, Maxim claimed its battery sensor technology-a 70V-tolerant, 12-cell sensor-meets the toughest OEM standards for automotive safety, performance, and reliability.
The MAX17823 is a fourth-generation, high-voltage battery sensor targeting mission-critical automotive and industrial lithium-ion battery and fuel-cell applications (Fig. 2). Offering a full suite of proprietary integrated ISO-26262 diagnostic features, the sensor helps increase electric and hybrid electric vehicle driving range while monitoring battery and fuel-cell safety and reliability.
The differential UART communications link is automotive EMC-hardened, enabling uninterrupted cell monitoring during battery-pack service disconnect and eliminating costly digital isolators. A shutdown feature safely enters all daisy-chain devices into sub-microampere sleep mode when a host microcontroller loses 12V power. Accurate 96-cell, 100-measurement-per-second performance helps achieve and maintain ASIL-D (Automotive Safety Integrity Level “D”, per ISO-26262) compliance.
Car Camera Systems
Other developments include two high-speed serialisation/deserialisation (SERDES) chipsets that expect to lower the costs of automotive camera systems (Fig. 3). Operating over standard coax cables, the 22bit MAX9273/MAX9272 and 16bit MAX9271/MAX9272 chipsets eschew the extra wires of an Ethernet setup to power a camera.
Today’s high-end automotive camera systems typically use multiple cameras and cables. Maxim says its coax solution reduces cable and connectivity costs by 50% compared to current standard twisted-pair (STP) solutions.
The camera chipsets operate at 1.5Gbps, which is critical for today’s fast video and megapixel image transmissions. Thanks to the coax cables, the chipsets needn’t compress data and, in turn, immediately process images-a key requirement for safety applications such as sign recognition, collision avoidance, and night vision.
In comparison, Ethernet-based solutions require data compression, which requires external components. This, of course, increases costs, power consumption, and power dissipation.
The chipsets consume less power by eliminating external components and maintaining a low 75mA supply current, thus preventing camera heat sensitivity issues. On top of that, the coax cables provide good shielding, which reduces emissions and interference.