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What is biosensing?

Biosensing is sensing and transmitting information about a biological process of an individual under observation. Two common technologies used are:

  • Bio-potential biosensing – most commonly used when information is desired about living tissue – such as heart, brain, and muscle activity
  • Optical biosensing – most commonly used in pulse oximetry (SP02) applications and optical-based heart rate monitors

Ways to sense

Bio-potential AFEs: Bio-potential sensor AFEs are a complete front-end, low-noise, low-power solution for measuring electric potential within the body

Optical biosensing: DLP technology enables high resolution intelligent illumination, such as vascular imaging


What is gas sensing?

Gas-sensing applications detect the quantity and level of gas in the environment, including toxic gases, oxygen, carbon dioxide, methane, and carbon monoxide. Air quality in health and safety applications are becoming an important factor especially in the building automation and automotive markets.

Ways to sense

Gas sensing: Electrochemical and NDIR sensor AFEs provide a fully-integrated and small solution for signal conditioning

Material composition  

What is material composition?

Composition sensing/detection is used to uniquely determine the type, amount, or size of conductors, non-conductors, liquids, and other materials.

Ways to sense

Inductive sensing: for conductive materials

Capacitive sensing: Offers high sensitivity with a low cost, low power and highly flexible system design

Optical: Programmable spectral filtering to measure unique transmission/absorption signatures of some chemicals and materials.

Ultrasonic sensing: Non-intrusive sensors are simple to design, no maintenance or contact with corrosive materials


What is proximity sensing?

Proximity sensing is used in applications that either measure the distance of a target object or simply detect its presence.

Ways to sense

Capacitive sensing: Offers high sensitivity with a low cost, low power and highly flexible system design

Hall effect sensors: Low power and low cost solution to sense magnetic field generated by a magnet on the target object

Inductive sensing: Provides sub-micron resolution while being insensitive to environmental contaminants

Ultrasonic sensing: Achieves long distance range with high immunity to dusty environment


What is chemical sensing?

pH sensing is used to monitor water quality by measuring the concentration of hydrogen ions in a solution.

Ways to sense

Chemical sensing: Highly-integrated, low-power analog front ends (AFE) for pH sensors

Optical: Specialized spectral filtering can be combined with a light sensor to measure unique transmission/absorption signatures of some chemicals and materials

Intelligent wavelength sensing: DLP® technology provides intelligent, programmable wavelength selection filter eliminating the need for expensive array detectors, resulting in high performance at lower price points with a small form factor


What is humidity sensing?

Humidity sensors determine the amount of water vapor / moisture in the air. Because relative humidity is a function of temperature, humidity sensors also usually include integrated temperature sensors.

Ways to sense

HDC1000: Lowest power, smallest footprint, fully-integrated humidity and temperature sensor with dust immunity


What is occcupancy?

Occupancy detection is the ability to determine the presence of an object or person. Sensing the physical presence allows for decisions and actions to be made including conserving power through automatically controlling lights, increasing safety by enabling passenger airbags, or increasing responsiveness during an emergency by knowing building occupancy.

Ways to sense

Optical sensing: 3D time of flight (ToF) solutions offer the ability to create an accurate 3D map of an environment with minimal latency and excellent accuracy

Temperature sensors: Passive infrared sensors are used to detect a change in the heat signature of the area of interest

Ultrasonic sensing: Ideal for line-of-sight measurements to determine the closest object or for intrusion detection


What is temperature sensing?

Temperature sensing is the measure of thermal energy as calibrated to a variety of scales, such as Kelvin, Celsius, and Fahrenheit. Temperature sensing is crucial for system protection, calibration, and process controls in an endless list of applications. Temperature sensing is growing in importance as system power density increase and to meet greater regulatory safety requirements.

Ways to sense

Temperature sensors: Easy-to-use devices that provide accurate temperature sensing with a wide range of analog and digital interfaces

Humidity sensing: Humidity sensors are used to measure the relative humidity and include a built-in temperature sensor

Current / power 

What is current/power monitoring?

Current measurement is aimed at understanding the consumption by a load, whether the entire system or individual voltage rails. In addition to measuring the current, many systems want to understand the supply voltage rails along with the current to calculate the overall system power consumption.

There are three basics reasons that a system designer will want to monitor/measure the current:

  • Protection
  • Closed–loop control
  • Calibration

Ways to sense

Current shunt monitors: Ideal for a system’s demands for high accuracy and low power consumption

Hall effect signal conditioning: Sensor signal conditioning ideal for use with Hall effect sensors for current measurement

DRV401 VAC sensor signal conditioner: Optimized signal conditioning of a VAC sensor for current measurement


What is level sensing?

Many products in many markets make use of water, oil, fuel, and other fluids. Whether it is water in a coffee maker, fuel in an automotive tank, or chemicals in a factory process, the performance and lifetime of these systems rely on knowing the level of fluid present at any time. Because different systems have different requirements for accuracy, cost, reliability, and sensor location, there are several technologies to address the level sensing application.

Ways to sense

Capacitive sensing: Offers a high-sensitivity and low-cost solution for non-metallic tanks

Ultrasonic sensing: Offers low-power level measurement in any tank with uniform fluids

Inductive sensing: Offers high-sensitivity and high-immunity to external interferers

Position / motion 

What is position / motion?

Position/motion sensing is used to determine the location and lateral/linear, rotational, or axial motion of any moving object or component in a system.

Ways to sense

Current shunt monitors: Used for closed loop control to monitor the current flow into a solenoid for valve control or through a motor

Hall effect sensor: Low power and low cost solution to sense magnetic field generated by a magnet on the target object

Inductive sensing: Provides sub-micron resolution while being insensitive to environmental contaminants

Optical sensing: Optical 3D time of flight (ToF) delivers high sensitivity and motion tracking capabilities to enable precise finger, hand, and body tracking

Ultrasonic sensing: Achieves long distance range with high immunity to dusty environment


What is flow sensing?

Many end equipments in many markets need to accurately measure the flow of fluid, heat, and gases for metering or process control applications. Whether it is a water meter for a residential or industrial utility, gas meter or process control meter for heating and cooling of critical systems, the flow must be accurately measured for proper billing and system control. These systems often are in remote locations with monitoring powered by a battery source and require a low-power and highly-accurate sensing technology.

Ways to sense

Ultrasonic sensing: Offers a low-power and high-accuracy flow sensing solution

MSP low-power microcontrollers: For system management and sensor communications


What is light sensing?

Light sensing is the measurement of the properties of light such as intensity and spectrum.

Ways to sense

Optical: Ambient light sensors (ALS), 3D time of flight (ToF), and DLP light steering devices provide a broad spectrum of light sensing technologies


What is pressure sensing?

Pressure sensors are used to measure the pressure of gases and liquids. Pressure measurements typically are made as:

  • Absolute – To measure a pressure relative to a vacuum
  • Gauge – To measure a pressure relative to atmospheric pressure
  • Differential (or relative) – To measure pressure difference between two inputs

Ways to sense

Pressure sensing: High-precision, programmable sensor signal conditioners for accurate pressure measurements

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Capacitive sensing products

Capacitive sensing with grounded capacitors is a high-resolution, low-cost, contactless sensing technique that can be applied to a variety of applications. The sensor in a capacitive sensing system is any conductor, allowing for a low-cost and highly-flexible system design. The FDC1004 is a 4-channel capacitance-to-digital converter designed for capacitive sensing applications. It features more than 16-bit effective noise-free resolution and provides compensation of up to 100 pF offset capacitance to accommodate the use of remote sensors. The FDC1004 also includes two strong drivers for sensor shields to allow focusing of sensing direction and to reduce EMI interference.

Learn more about capacitive sensing

Where this technology is used

The sensor in a capacitive sensing system is any metal or conductor, delivering a low-cost and highly-flexible system design. Capacitive sensing differs from capacitive touch in that it provides a higher resolution to allow for further sensing distance and higher-performance in sensing applications, including proximity, gesture, liquid level, and material properties.

Product family

Capacitance-to-digital converters

Featured product


High-resolution capacitance-to-digital converter

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