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CambridgeIC to launch at Electronica

CambridgeIC will launch its product range at Electronica 2010.

CambridgeIC, a technology company that specialises in developing integrated circuits and non-contact position sensors for machines is pleased to announce it will be launching its product range at Electronica. This event is the leading European trade fair for electronics businesses and is taking place at the New Munich Trade Fair Centre from the 9th – 12th November 2010. CambridgeIC can be found in Hall B5 on stand number 506.

CambridgeIC’s founders have pioneered resonant inductive technology for the measurement of rotary and linear position since 1994.  The technology is particularly attractive for electromechanical products manufactured in high volumes; it is cost effective to manufacture, extremely robust and provides accurate position information because the sensors are built from conventional printed circuit boards (PCBs).
resonant inductive position sensor system block diagram
Until now, resonant inductive sensing has required special design skills and is only used where the environmental demands or price/performance requirements are sufficiently extreme to justify a customised solution.  To make the technology more readily available, a single chip solution, a library of standard sensors and a set of development tools are needed. CambridgeIC’s team has developed just that.

The first chip, the CAM204 Central Tracking Unit (CTU), works with up to 4 sensors, which can be linear and/or rotary.  The first batch of linear sensors to be launched is available with measuring lengths from 25mm up to 200mm.  Rotary sensors are available in diameters from 25mm to 50mm, with the larger size capable of sensing at up to 11mm gap.

CambridgeIC’s position sensing technology detects the position of a special target.  This contains a resonant circuit, which is the magnetic equivalent of a tuning fork.  The resonator oscillates (rings) in response to a magnetic field generated by the sensor, and the resulting magnetic oscillation is then detected by the same sensor.  Since the magnetic fields are alternating, they are commonly referred to as inductive to distinguish them from the fixed magnetic fields used in other sensors. 

The resonator inside the targets comprises two simple electronic components: an inductor and capacitor.  These are housed in a miniature, sealed device.  CambridgeIC has partnered with TDK-EPC, a leading manufacturer of electronic components, modules and systems, to develop EPCOS targets.
EPCOS target, exterior and interior
CambridgeIC’s single chip solution is intended to simplify the design process of electromechanical products that will be manufactured in bulk and require wear-free position feedback. It is particularly beneficial to multi-axis applications because centralising electronic positioning processing from several axes into a single chip delivers additional cost advantages. The solution will also benefit applications that require linear position measurement since existing solutions are bulky and expensive.

CambridgeIC has already established relationships with a number of key partner companies, including TURCK, a leading developer of industrial automation equipment.  TURCK’s Li series of industrially housed position sensor uses CambridgeIC’s CAM204 chip and sensor designs to perform the position sensing.  They enable Turck to build a completely sealed and wear free module.  The Li series is already sold worldwide, with typical applications in printing and moulding machines.
TURCK's Li Series sensor
David Ely, Managing Director and founder of Cambridge IC, comments:  “We are really excited to be showcasing our products at Electronica.  It will give us an opportunity to meet with innovative design engineers from around the world, to plant the seeds for further, ground breaking products with our technology inside.

Thursday 4 November 2010