Thermocouple IC for integrating into board designs

| Environmental Testing

Integrated thermocouple converter
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Temperature sensor, ADC and processing design integrated into one thermocouple conditioning IC for use in higher level electronic designs requiring temperature measurement.

The MCP9600 from Microchip Technology is a thermocouple-conditioning integrated circuit (IC) that combines precision instrumentation, temperature sensor and high-resolution Analogue-to-Digital Converter (ADC), in addition to a maths engine 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 as well as 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.

Thermocouples are widely used to measure temperature by the designers of industrial, consumer, automotive/aerospace and petrochemical applications, among others. The MCP9600 provides them with the world’s first plug-and-play device for creating thermocouple-based designs, because it eliminates the design expertise required for a discrete implementation, such as firmware development using an MCU’s maths engine. Designers no longer 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. Finally, the MCP9600 comes in a 5×5 mm, 20-lead mQFN package, which further reduces board area and manufacturing cost.

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