Allegro MicroSystems announces AxMR technology for magnetic sensor ICs

Allegro MicroSystems has launched AxMR technology, the culmination of more than five years of research and development. The investment contributes to Allegro’s mission to create a broad portfolio of magnetic sensor ICs for high growth applications within the automotive and industrial markets.

Allegro’s AxMR technology integrates high sensitivity magneto resistive (MR) sensor elements and high precision BiCMOS circuits on a single silicon IC. Allegro combines its automotive grade, high voltage wafer processes with high accuracy, automotive grade MR sensors. The result, says the company, is a family of high reliability, innovative, small form factor, monolithic ICs that easily fit into industry standard IC packages.

There are two parts to AxMR technology. Allegro’s AGMR technology was originally designed to withstand the rigorous under-the-hood automotive environment. AGMR technology is thermally stable to greater than 150 degree C, even in the presence of large magnetic fields. It is the basis for Allegro to expand its product offerings in speed, electrical current, and angle sensing applications.

“Hall-effect technology meets the needs of many applications in Allegro’s target markets, but there are certain applications, particularly in the areas of ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems) and high efficiency vehicles, where xMR technology offers more elegant solutions relative to Hall technology,” says Michael Doogue, vice president of business development, Allegro Microsystems. “In these applications, Allegro’s xMR ICs provide more accurate measurement data, enable more favourable mechanical placement of a sensor IC within a mechanical system, or create smaller form factor solutions with a lower overall cost.”

Allegro’s first generation AxMR ring-magnet speed sensor ICs are already in production at a leading Tier 1 automotive supplier of wheel speed sensors. These ICs rely on Allegro’s patented signal processing algorithms to meet the needs of both standard and direction detection wheel speed sensor platforms. GMR technology enables low jitter rotational speed measurements that are not possible with Hall effect ICs.

Allegro is actively developing monolithic back-biased GMR sensors for advanced engine management and transmission gear speed sensing applications, where the same low jitter measurements and large air gap performance are essential for advanced powertrain system operation.

Allegro also recently released its first GMR-based current sensor IC, a device capable of resolving currents of less than 1.0mA. Allegro has also announced plans to leverage MR technology for monolithic current sensor ICs.

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