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AMR angle sensor packs amplifier IC

Posted: 20 Dec 2011     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:angle sensor  brushless DC motor  magnetoresistive sensors 

NXP Semiconductors N.V. unveils the KMZ60, which it claims to be the first magnetoresistive angle sensor with an integrated amplifier IC targeted at BLDC motor-based applications, particularly in the automotive sector.

The sensor uses anisotropic magnetoresistive (AMR) technology and is designed as a low cost, high-performance control device for brushless DC motor (BLDC) commutation.


The NXP KMZ60 claims to be the first magnetoresistive angle sensor with integrated amplifier IC.

The KMZ60 can be used in high-precision automotive applications such as electronic power steering (EPS) or window wiper systems. Other use cases are BLDC motors in industrial applications.

Up to now, cost and complexity of the electronics design had held back the penetration of BLDC motors in vehicles. However, designing with NXP's KMZ60 enables a significant system cost reduction while delivering high speed and accuracy, according to the company.

The fast response times, robust performance and high accuracy of the KMZ60 is said to make it ideal for environments where speed and precision are needed. As a pure analogue angle sensor, the KMZ60 increases the overall speed of operation, which is vital for safety-critical applications such as steering angle measurement and window wiper application.

Drue Freeman, vice president global automotive sales and marketing, NXP Semiconductors, said: "Modern vehicles have between 10 and 100 electric motors. By replacing traditional motors with brushless DC motors, car manufacturers can realise significant energy savings. The KMZ60 sensor is designed to save system costs and further boost the uptake of energy-efficient equipment. By using a true angular measurement, our magnetoresistive sensors operate reliably independent of magnet shifts and drifts due to lifetime, thermal influences or mechanical stress. This enables high-accuracy readouts even in the most demanding environments—such as the inside of a motor."

The KMZ60 sensor consists of two microchips within a single SO8 package, an angle sensor and an amplifier IC designed to deliver cosine and sine output signals related to the angle of the rotating magnetic field within a motor. The integrated amplifier means no external amplifiers are required, leading to overall cost savings. A power-down mode permits low power consumption when the sensor is not in use.

The KMZ60 features high precision sensor for magnetic angle measurement. It has temperature coefficient compensated ratiometric output signals from -40°C to 150°C. The sensor's output voltage range is ratiometric related to the supply voltage.

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