SOURCE: Intersil


February 22, 2013 12:30 ET

New Strain Gauge Application Platform From Intersil and Freescale Delivers High Precision Measurement for 32-Bit Data Processing

Introduced by Future Electronics for Customers Who Require Fast, Low Power Solutions

MILPITAS, CA--(Marketwire - Feb 22, 2013) - Intersil Corporation (NASDAQ: ISIL), a leader in the design and manufacture of high-performance analog, mixed-signal and power management semiconductors, has joined Freescale Semiconductor to develop a new thermocouple and strain gauge application solution that delivers excellent high precision measurement coupled with fast, low power data processing for advanced designs.

The new board features two sensor applications using Intersil's precision and power products coupled with the Freescale Kinetis L series microcontroller featuring a Cortex M0+ core. The demonstration platform consists of two separate boards -- the Intersil precision and power products application board and the FRDM-KL25Z Freescale Freedom development platform.

The thermocouple design uses a K-type thermocouple with cold junction compensation. This design uses Intersil's ISL28134 zero drift amplifier, ISL21090 voltage reference, ISL22317 DCP, the ISL26102 24-bit delta sigma converter and the Freescale KL25Z MCU, featuring 128 KB flash and 16 KB SRAM onboard.

Strain Gauge Design as Bridge Solution

The strain gauge design, which is also part of the demo, is a bridge solution that is able to extract a small sensor signal from a high voltage common mode signal of 10V or higher. The design uses Intersil's 40V ISL28617 instrumentation amplifier, ISL21090 voltage reference, the ISL26102 24-bit delta sigma converter and the Freescale microcontroller for data acquisition and processing of measurement data, as well as using the onboard USB ports to make the data available, for example, a display.

The demo is powered from a mini USB connection on the Freescale Freedom development platform, providing the 5V to generate the required +12V, +10V, and ±5V supplies for the demo. The 5V supply is regulated down to a clean 3.3V supply using Intersil's ISL80101 high performance LDO, boosted then to +12V using Intersil's ISL97516 step-up regulator. The other voltages are generated by an ICL7660 charge pump and an ISL80138 linear regulator.

The thermocouple temperature or applied strain can be monitored using a GUI on the computer powering the demo through the mini USB cable. The display shows real time data in either numerical or a graphical representation of the temperature or strain measurement.

Both designs perfectly complement Freescale's 32-bit Kinetis L series MCUs by the exceptional noise performance of a 24-bit delta sigma converter featuring a 3rd-order modulator, which provides up to 21.5 bit noise-free performance. The Kinetis L series combine the exceptional energy-efficiency and ease-of-use of the new ARM Cortex-M0+ processor with the performance, peripheral sets, enablement and scalability of the Kinetis 32-bit MCU portfolio. The Kinetis L series frees power-critical designs from 8- and 16-bit MCU limitations by combining dynamic and stop currents with superior processing performance, a broad selection of on-chip flash memory densities and extensive analog, connectivity, and HMI peripheral options.

Christopher Koch, Technical Director at Future Electronics, said: "This new application board was initiated by Future Electronics to add value to all customers that require high precision measurement in combination with fast and low power data processing with the latest 32-bit Cortex M0+ technology. Intersil and Freescale both offer state of the art technology for our customers in the industrial, medical and sensor market segments -- they will like this solution."

Design engineers can review the reference design and evaluation platform for early prototype development at this URL:

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About Future Electronics
Future Electronics is a global leader in electronics distribution, ranking 3rd in component sales worldwide. Founded in 1968, the company has established itself as one of the most innovative organizations in the industry today, with 5,000 employees in 169 offices in 42 countries around the world. Future Electronics is globally integrated, with one worldwide IT infrastructure providing real-time inventory availability and access, while enabling full integration of its operations, sales and marketing worldwide. Offering the highest level of service, the most advanced engineering capabilities and technical solutions through all stages of the design-production cycle, and the largest available-to-sell inventory in the world, Future's mission is always to Delight the Customer. For more information, visit

About Intersil
Intersil Corporation is a leader in the design and manufacture of high-performance analog, mixed-signal and power management semiconductors. The company's products address some of the largest markets within the industrial and infrastructure, personal computing and high-end consumer markets. For more information about Intersil, visit our website at

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