Automotive Sensor Signal Conditioners Meet Safety Challenges

Sridhar Gurram
Automotive Product Line Marketing

The proliferation of Automotive sensors for measuring pressure, temperature, gas, humidity and vibration in the vehicle has created a challenging need for sensor system designers to use state-of-the-art sensor signal conditioners.

The sensor modules operate in the harshest environments with a specified operating temperature range from -40°C to 150°C. Additionally, these sensor modules must be able to function properly with large power supply disturbances and be capable of tolerating ESD strikes up to 15 Kv.

The mission-critical automotive sensors for braking and steering system control require sophisticated diagnostics and any undetected failure could result in catastrophic events. This mandates the need for sensor signal conditioners to have a complete set of diagnostic capabilities to enable detection of various faults including sensor connection checks, pin-to-pin shorts and wiring harness failures along with power loss to the sensor. Some of the faults detected are as shown below:

SSC Fault Detection
EEPROM signature
Loss of bridge positive
Loss of bridge negative
Open bridge connection
Bridge input short
ExtTemp pin open
ExtTemp pin shorted to PWR/GND
ExtTemp pin shorted to BP/BN
Loss of VDD
Loss of VSS

An EEPROM signature check detects severe, uncorrectable multibit failures. Additional EEPROM bytes allow storage of a serial number or other product-traceability data.

The functional safety of all electronic components is critical in transportation vehicles and ensures the safety of drivers and passengers while reducing the cost of quality to manufacturers. Increased sophistication in Automobile technology puts higher emphasis on functional safety in automotive electronics. ISO 26262 Functional Safety standards for road vehicles defines the safety compliance target based on the original equipment manufacturer’s Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL). IDT offers automotive-grade sensor signal conditioner ICs that are ASIL-compliant from Level A through Level C.

Product ASIL Rating
ZSSC4151 ASIL-B
ZSSC4161 ASIL-B
ZSSC4162 ASIL-B
ZSSC4165 ASIL-B
ZSSC4169 ASIL-C

IDT has deep expertise in developing sensor signal conditioning solutions with functional safety requirements and has shipped more than 100 million units for applications such as brake pressure and electronic power steering. Our market-leading Automotive SSC devices are highly:

  • Flexible – to enable our customers to easily create all kinds of sensor platforms
  • Robust – High temperature (up to 160 °C) and HTOL up to 5000h @ 150°C
  • Reliable – Meets ISO26262 Automotive-EMC and reliability requirements
  • Efficient – To allow for lowest total system cost with low BoM and calibration costs

Visit idt.com/autossc for detailed product information, including datasheets and evaluation tools.