ACIENNA Launches High Power Current Sensor for Industrial Robots

ACIENNA says its new ±65 Amp MCx1101 Current Sensor provides accuracy for wideband gap applications in a range of industries.


Schematic of ACIENNA's current sensor.

ACIENNA Inc. yesterday announced the high-current ±65 Amp MCx1101 Current Sensor, which it claimed is the industry’s most accurate and highest-bandwidth current sensor. The sensor is designed for wideband gap applications such as industrial robots, manufacturing systems, electric vehicles, servers, and home automation.

“ACEINNA’s MCx1101 current sensors are fully integrated, bi-directional, and provide much higher DC and AC accuracy and dynamic range compared with alternative solutions,” said Teoman Ustun, vice president of marketing at ACEINNA. “For example, the new ±65 Amp versions have a typical accuracy of ±3%. This new current sensor utilizes an industry standard SOIC-16 package with a low impedance—0.9 milli-ohm— current path and are UL/IEC/EN60950-1 certified for isolated applications.”

Andover, Mass.-based ACIENNA provides MEMS (micro-electromechanical system)-based sensors to help its customers improve the reliability, cost, features, and performance of their end products and equipment. In 2017, the company was spun off from MEMSIC, which is now a part of a public company.

ACIENNA said it has been developing MR (magnetoresistive)-based sensor and magnetic thin-film manufacturing for 15 years. ACEINNA has provided more than 300 million MR-based electronic compass units that have been integrated into industrial and mobile robots, autonomous vehicles, drones, and other applications. It has manufacturing facilities in Wuxi, China, and research and development facilities in San Jose, Calif.; Andover; and Chicago.

MXx1101 sensor uses AMR technology

ACIENNA said its ±65 Amp MCx1101 current sensor is highly accurate and is available in 3.3- and 5-Volt versions. It is based on Anisotropic Magnetoresistive (AMR) technology, said the company.  

AMR technology offers significant advantages compared with other approaches such as Hall, CT (current transformer), and shunt resistors, said ACIENNA. Compared to Hall-based current sensors, AMR provides significantly higher bandwidth and dynamic range, it claimed.

Compared with CTs, AMR offers reduced size and cost, as well as response to DC, said ACIENNA. In comparison with a shunt resistor, AMR provides a fully integrated solution, eliminating the external amplifier and related circuitry required for high voltage isolation, which is a significant challenge at high frequencies, it added.

In addition, shunt resistors require enough IR drop to achieve accuracy goals at the low end of the current range, which often means they are dissipating undesirable levels of power at nominal currents, said ACIENNA. By contrast, the AMR device only measures the magnetic field generated by the current, so the I2R losses can be minimized.

Wideband current sensing for next-gen apps

The MCx1101 wide bandwidth current sensor is suitable for a wide range of next-generation power systems, as well as motion control and Internet of Things (IoT) applications, said ACIENNA.

“The MCx1101’s fast response and high bandwidth is ideal for fast switching SiC and GaN-based power stages and enables power system designers to make use of the higher speeds and smaller components enabled by wideband-gap switches,” it said. “Output step response time is just 0.3us. The MCx1101 also provides an integrated over current detection flag to help implement the OCD (Over Current Detection) required in modern power systems. Over current detection response time is a fast 0.2us.”

The company said its new sensor can provide high-accuracy, 1.5-MHz signal bandwidth with industry benchmark phase shift versus frequency, fast output step response, and 4.8kV isolation. This makes them useful for current sensing in fast current control loops and protection for high-performance power supplies, inverters, and motor control applications.

In addition to the new ±65Amp version, ACEINNA’s current sensor family includes ±50, ±20, and ±5 Amp ranges. It is also available in both fixed-gain (MCA1101) and ratiometric-gain (MCR1101) versions.

Units of the MCx1101 current sensor are now available from Mouser Electronics Inc. for sampling and volume shipments.

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Schematic of ACIENNA's current sensor.

Robot Technologies