1997-11-17

A Comparison Between Micromachined Piezoresistive and Capacitive Pressure Sensors 973241

Hundreds of millions of micromachined, piezoresistive Manifold Absolute Pressure (MAP) sensors have been produced to reduce pollution and improve fuel efficiency in engine control systems. Other vehicle applications for micromachined pressure sensors include monitoring turbo pressure, barometric pressure, fuel tank leakage, fuel rail pressure and tire pressure. Exhaust gas recirculation and even door compression for side impact detection are employing micromachined silicon pressure sensors. Piezoresistive pressure sensors have dominated the automotive market to date. Practical micromachined capacitive pressure sensors have recently been developed and could replace the piezoresistive sensor in many applications. This paper will examine the advantages of both pressure sensing technologies, and discuss applications that an inexpensive capacitive pressure sensor will open up.

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