Microchip simplifies a ubiquitous temperature measurement

September 02, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
Presenting it as the first integrated thermocouple electromotive force-to-degrees Celsius (emf/°C) converter, Microchip says its latest sensor-signal-conditioning IC saves design effort, space and cost

The device is the first converter IC to integrate precision instrumentation, temperature sensor and high-resolution ADC with a maths engine, to support most thermocouple types, and is the first plug-and-play solution for creating thermocouple-based designs. It removes the need for thermal design expertise or the creation of precision instrumentation circuitry, and a digital filter minimises the effects of temperature fluctuations, system noise and EMI.

MCP9600’s maths engineis pre-programmed with the firmware to support a broad range of standard thermocouple types: K, J, T, N, S, E, B and R. Thermocouples are one of the most ubiquitous temperature-measurement devices, due to their robustness and accuracy in harsh, high-temperature environments, and their ability to measure temperature over an extremely wide range. The MCP9600 simplifies thermocouple designs by integrating a number of discrete devices into one chip, which also lowers board area, cost and power consumption.

Designers do not have to create precision instrumentation circuitry to accurately measure a thermocouple’s microvolt-level signals, nor do they have to design ADC circuitry for precise temperature calculations. With the MCP9600’s integrated cold-junction compensation, calculating the “Hot” junction temperature of a thermocouple does not necessitate thermal design expertise to precisely measure the reference temperature of the thermocouple’s “Cold” junction.

Other features of the MCP9600 include a temperature-data digital filter, which minimises the effects of temperature fluctuations, system noise and electromagnetic interference. Its shutdown modes reduce overall system power consumption, while its four user-programmable temperature-alert outputs reduce the system microcontroller’s overhead and code space, while further simplifying designs. MCP9600 comes in a 5 x 5 mm, 20-lead mQFN package. The MCP9600 Thermocouple IC Evaluation Board (ADM00665), is priced at $65.00.

Microchip; www.microchip.com/MCP9600-Page-063015a