Sensing Products

Technology Comparison

Common temperature sensors

Temp Sense IC

Thermistor

RTD

Thermocouple

Temperature range -55°C to +150°C -100°C to +500°C -240°C to +700°C -267°C to +2316°C
Accuracy Very good Depends on Calibration ** (limited range of accuracy) Best Very good
Linearity Best Low Better Better
Does not require support circuitry
Price Low-Moderate Low-Moderate Higher Higher

IC Temperature Sensors vs. Thermistors

IC temperature sensors can provide significant advantages over passive thermistors, providing not only higher integration and simplicity, but greater accuracy, linearity, and lower power as well.

IC vs Thermistor: Accuracy

 

Where as thermistors are typically specified at one temperature, IC temperature sensors provide a guaranteed accuracy across a wide temperature range, better linearity, and noise immunity.

IC vs Thermistor: Ease of use

 

Beyond reducing the component count, IC sensors can greatly simplify software development. With no look-up tables or linearization needed, with an IC temperature sensor it’s as simple as reading the value directly from the part. Digital IC temperature sensors also provide the benefit of programmable sampling and automated interrupts.

 

IC vs Thermistor: Power

 

One of the biggest challenges with thermistors is with power consumption. Essentially a resistor divider, power is passed straight to ground through the thermistor resistor combo which increases error from self-heating. While a larger bias resistor can be used to reduce power consumption, this would limit the dynamic range of the signal and impact the accuracy & resolution that can be achieved.

 

IC vs. Thermistor: Topology

Converting from a thermistor to an IC can greatly simplify board design by reducing components and board footprint. See how different types of temperature sensors compare to thermistors.

  Typical topology IC topology
Over temperature detection

Pin programmable

Resistor programmable

Advantages:

  • Single Chip
  • Guaranteed Accuracy
  • Available Options
  • Programmable Hysteresis
  • Analog Temperature Output
  • Dual Threshold Alerts
  • Window Comparator Alert
Temperature monitoring

Analog temperature sensor

Advantages:

  • Very linear
  • Low power
  • Wide range of packaging options
Digital temperature sensor

Advantages:

  • Integrated ADC
  • Standard I2C / SPI Interfaces
  • Programmable sampling & alerts
  • Noise Immunity
Remote temperature sensor

Advantages:

  • Multiple Channels Measurement
  • Measures temperature of diode or NPN/PNP transistor
  • Up to 0.75oC of accuracy
Cable & probes

Digital pulse counter

Advantages:

  • 2 Pin Package
  • Mechanically compatible with thermistors ecosystem
  • No ADC needed
  • Simple pulse counter interface
  • Up to 2 meters of distance possible
Daisy chain

Advantages:

  • Less wiring & assembly
  • Auto Addressing based on location in chain
  • Programmable sampling & Alerts
  • Up to 300 meters of distance possible