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Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

First Automotive Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) Sensor Coupled With TI Controller Enhances Fuel Efficiency and Safety

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Transense SAW based sensors, positioned at +/-45 degrees to the shaftaxis, provide direct measurement of torque rather than position, without theneed to make expensive modifications to the steering column. When torque isapplied to the shaft, one of the SAW resonators compresses while the otherextends, leading to a combined frequency shift proportional to the appliedtorque. The RF signal transmits between rotating and stationary parts of theassembly via a non-contact coupled transmission line. With the exception ofthe SAW sensor, no electronic components are mounted on the shaft, maintainingdriver feel and keeping costs low.

Switching from a hydraulic steering system to an electromechanical modeleliminates the constant drag on the engine while the reduced weightcontributes to overall fuel economy; estimates indicate that EPS leads to afuel economy improvement of approximately three to four percent. TI's F28xcontrollers offer high performance and real time processing required to managesafety critical automotive motor control applications such as EPS.

DSP Performance and TI Support Are Key

"We needed a device with the high performance, integration and pricepoints that could only be found in the F28x controllers," stated Dr Ray Lohr ,Transense Technologies' Technical Director. "The robust, easy to usedevelopment tools and the hands on support that we got from TI provided werealso crucial."

TI's F28x controllers offer 32-bit DSP performance combined with theperipheral integration and ease-of-use of an microcontroller (MCU). AllF28x-based devices feature a 32-bit wide data path for superior performanceand mixed 16/32-bit instruction set for improved code density. Thesecontrollers offer exceptional system integration by providing complete controlsystem capabilities from signal input through the on-chip 12-bit analog todigital converter (ADC), quadrature encoder pulse (QEP) interfaces, and timercaptures and compares through signal output with up to 10 independent pulsewidth modulation (PWM) channels with 150 picosecond (ps) resolution. Dependingon the device, communication interfaces include CAN, I2C, UART and SPI ports.The device can be interfaced to one of TI's automotive-qualifiedSN65HVD1040-Q1 or SN65HVD1050-Q1 CAN transceivers, which offerindustry-leading electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection of up to +/- 8 kV(human body model). For more information on the full line of TMS320C2000(TM)digital signal controllers, see http://www.ti.com/c2000.

TI Enables Innovation with Broad Range of Controllers

From ultra-low-power MSP430 and 32-bit general purpose TMS470 ARM7(R)family-based MCUs to high performance TMS320C2000 digital signal controllers,TI offers designers the broadest range of embedded control solutions.Designers can also accelerate their design to market by tapping into TI'scomplete software and hardware tools, extensive third party offerings andtechnical support. For more information on the broad range of TI'scontrollers, see http://www.ti.com/mcu.


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