Thermocouple AFE Using RTD or Integrated Temperature Sensor for Cold Junction Compensation (CJC)


Design files


The sole objective of this reference design is to provide comprehensive details on how to design a simple, robust, and accurate analog front end (AFE) circuit for making precision temperature measurements with thermocouple sensors. TIDA-00168 explains the theory, operation, and complications involved in a step-by-step manner. Additionally, this reference design emphasizes topics like error analysis, the necessity of an anti-aliasing filter, biasing resistors for sensor diagnostics, CJC, linearization technique for sensor data, and the design challenges of printed circuit boards.

  •  Sensor input: K-Type thermocouple
  •  Thermocouple Temperature range of –200°C to 1372°C
  •  Noise free resolution: 0.02ºC
  •  Cold Junction Compensation (CJC) using
  •  Resistance Temperature Detector (RTD) or the internal temperature sensor of the ADS1220
  •  Designed to meet IEC61000-4 Standards:
    • Electrical Fast Transients (EFTs), Electrostatic Discharge (ESD), and Surge
    • Field Transmitter operating temperature range of –40°C to 85°C
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A fully assembled board has been developed for testing and performance validation only, and is not available for sale.

Design files & products

Design files

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TIDU574.PDF (10770 K)

Reference design overview and verified performance test data


Detailed schematic diagram for design layout and components


Complete listing of design components, reference designators, and manufacturers/part numbers


Detailed overview of design layout for component placement

TIDRBX0.ZIP (10039 K)

Files used for 3D models or 2D drawings of IC components

TIDC772.ZIP (1690 K)

Design file that contains information on physical board layer of design PCB

TIDRBW9.PDF (1685 K)

PCB layer plot file used for generating PCB design layout


Includes TI products in the design and potential alternatives.

Precision ADCs

ADS122024-bit, 2-kSPS, four-channel, low-power, delta-sigma ADC with PGA, VREF, SPI and two IDACs

Data sheet: PDF | HTML
I2C general-purpose I/Os (GPIOs)

TCA953516-bit 1.65- to 5.5-V I2C/SMBus I/O expander with interrupt & config registers

Data sheet: PDF | HTML
MSP430 microcontrollers

MSP430FR594916 MHz MCU with 64KB FRAM, 2KB SRAM, AES, 12-bit ADC, comparator, DMA, UART/SPI/I2C, timer

Data sheet: PDF | HTML
Series voltage references

REF50202.048-V, 3-µVpp/V noise, 3-ppm/°C drift precision series voltage reference

Data sheet: PDF | HTML

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Technical documentation

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Type Title Date
* Design guide Thermocouple AFE Using RTD and Internal Temperature Sensor of ADS1220 for CJC Nov. 16, 2014
Technical article It's in the math: how to convert an ADC code to a voltage (part 2) Apr. 29, 2016

Related design resources

Reference designs

TIDA-00095 RTD Temperature Transmitter for 2-wire, 4 to 20-mA Current Loop Systems TIDA-00165 Small Form Factor, 2-Wire 4 to 20mA Current Loop RTD Temperature Transmitter Reference Design TIDA-00189 Isolated Loop Powered Thermocouple Transmitter Reference Design TIDA-00247 Single Chip 2-Wire Loop Powered, 4 to 20mA Current Loop RTD Temperature Transmitter Reference Design TIDA-00459 Highly Efficient Power & Data Transmission for Isolated Low Power Applications Reference Design

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