Microchip Technology Inc. has released the MCP9600, the world's first thermocouple-conditioning integrated circuit to combine precision instrumentation, a precision temperature sensor and a precision, high-resolution analog-to-digital converter (ADC), in addition to a math engine preprogrammed 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, and 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 solution for creating thermocouple-based designs, because it eliminates the design expertise required for a discrete implementation, such as firmware development using an MCU's math 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 doesn't 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 minimizes 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 5x5 mm, 20-lead mQFN package, which further reduces board area and manufacturing cost.