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Microchip unveils feature-packed thermocouple

Posted: 07 Oct 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Microchip Technology  thermocouple  MCU  ADC  design 

Microchip Technology Inc. has uncloaked what it flaunts as the world's first thermocouple-conditioning IC to combine precision instrumentation, a precision temperature sensor and a precision, high-resolution ADC. The MCP9600 also features a math engine pre-programmed with the firmware to support a range of standard thermocouple types (K, J, T, N, S, E, B and R).

Thermocouples are one of the most ubiquitous temperature-measurement devices, due to their robustness and accuracy in harsh, high-temperature environments, and their ability to measure temperature over an extremely wide range. The MCP9600 simplifies thermocouple designs by integrating a number of discrete devices into one chip, which also lowers board area, cost and power consumption, stated the company.

Thermocouples are used to measure temperature by the designers of industrial, consumer, automotive/aerospace and petrochemical applications, among others. The MCP9600 provides them with a plug-and-play solution for creating thermocouple-based designs, because it eliminates the design expertise required for a discrete implementation such as firmware development using an MCU's math engine.


Designers no longer have to create precision instrumentation circuitry to accurately measure a thermocouple's microvolt-level signals, nor do they have to design ADC circuitry for precise temperature calculations. With the MCP9600's integrated cold-junction compensation, calculating the 'Hot' junction temperature of a thermocouple doesn't necessitate thermal design expertise to precisely measure the reference temperature of the thermocouple's 'Cold' junction.

Other features of the MCP9600 include a temperature-data digital filter, which cuts the effects of temperature fluctuations, system noise and electromagnetic interference. Its shutdown modes reduce overall system power consumption, while its four user-programmable temperature-alert outputs reduce the system MCU's overhead and code space, while further simplifying designs. Finally, the MCP9600 comes in a 5mm x 5mm, 20-lead mQFN package, minimising board area and manufacturing cost.

The MCP9600 thermocouple IC evaluation board (part ADM00665) was also announced to enable development. It is available for $65.

The MCP9600 is available for $3.54 each in 5,000-unit quantities.


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