The Application of Microcontrollers to Automotive Smart Sensors 890303
Today's sophisticated automotive electronics controllers require higher quality information about vehicle parameters. This information is provided to them by means of various kinds of sensors, using different types of electric signals. Although many of these sensors have been quite adequate in the past, new precision and stability requirements have emerged that dictate the use of new approaches <1>.
An approach that offers higher performance, as well as flexibility, utilizes a microcontroller as an integral part of the sensor element. Until very recently, the cost of this approach was too high to be considered for automotive applications. Fortunately, new microcontroller offerings -and associated circuitry- offer high performance at low cost, making it feasible to design microcontroller-based sensors for the vehicles of the early 1990's.
Key techniques of this microcontroller-based approach are reviewed, including examples of some of the most important applications.