Magnetic latch/switch family with lateral sensitivity & ASIL B rating

December 03, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
Programmable micropower devices are positioned as the first in the industry to offer ASIL B automotive functional safety

Melexis (Tessenderlo, Belgium) has introduced a magnetic sensing technology for modern automotive design. MLX92292 represents, the company asserts, a new way of sensing. This device delivers switch and latch functions, but unlike existing products on the market it can determine the presence of magnetic fields that are lateral, not just orthogonal, to it. The uniqueness of this offering is taken further by the fact that the MLX92292 latch/switch is the only one to currently support ASIL B safety integrity level (in accordance with ISO 26262), with an array of built-in diagnostic mechanisms available.

Flexibility is a key attribute of the MLX92292; users can choose straightforward pre-programmed units, or end-of-line (EoL) programming capacity. Through this each device may be configured (via its output pin) during the OEM production process. The programming facility also enables setting of both magnetic operating points to small increments across a range spanning -90 mT to +90 mT.

Housed in 3-lead TSOT or TO92 package formats, with an operating voltage range from 3.3V to 18V, the MLX92292's low power consumption (typically drawing 7 µA) makes it suitable for battery-powered operation.As sleep time is a programmable parameter, power consumption can be matched with specific power budget needs. Target applications include brake lights, steering sensors, handbrake mechanisms, etc.

MLX92292 can be specified with standard orthogonal sensitivity or the lateral sensitivity option. Lateral sensitivity adds the potential to replace multiple devices with a single surface mount unit, thereby saving valuable board space and lowering bill-of-materials costs. This stems directly from Melexis' proprietary Integrated Magnetic Concentrator (IMC) technology, which enables substantial heightening of signal-to-noise ratios in magnetic field measurement. In addition, the capacity of this technology to sense laterally allows lower profile system implementations, as the magnet can move alongside the device rather than having to be above it.

Safeguarding the MLX92292 are reverse supply voltage, thermal, electro-static discharge (ESD) and over-voltage protection, plus under-voltage lockout features. With the capacity