MEMS and Sensors

Sensor Said to Replace Potentiometers

08 September 2014

Austrian sensor vendor ams AG has rolled out a magnetic rotary position sensor as a contactless alternative to potentiometers, variable resistors used in industrial and consumer applications.

The AS5600 features a ratiometric output, mirroring the output of a potentiometer meaning users won’t need to change the applications code running on a microcontroller when the device is replaced. ams said the device offers a 12-bit resolution over a full 0 to 360 degree rotation, allowing the sensor to measure angular displacement in any application currently using a potentiometer, including rotary knobs and dials.

The benefit of this sensor compared to potentiometers is that the device is unaffected by dust, dirt, humidity, moisture or vibration something that ams claims can’t be said about potentiometers. The AS5600 sensor does this by using a contactless sensing method that ups the reliability in applications. Potentiometers use a mechanical wiper that slides along a conductive armature. The sensor senses rotary motion by measuring changes in the magnetic field generated by the paired magnet.

“Potentiometers are known to be vulnerable to early failure in industrial and consumer applications because of contamination by dirt or humidity,” said Alfred Binder, business line manager for position sensors at ams, in a statement. “With the introduction of the AS5600, it is now simple to replace a potentiometer with a reliable contactless alternative that offers high resolution, low power consumption and immunity to contamination.”

Related links:

IHS MEMS & Sensors

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