C1.3 - Advanced Sensory Electronics and Systems with Self-x Capabilities by MEMS Switch Integration

AMA Conferences 2013
2013-05-14 - 2013-05-16
Proceedings SENSOR 2013
C1 - Sensor Electronics I
M. Akmal Johar, A. Koenig - Technical University of Kaiserslautern (Germany)
346 - 351


After entering mass application, more stringent requirements on flexibility, accuracy and dependability are imposed on sensory systems and their electronic embodiment. Analog static and dynamic reconfiguration, culminating in so called self-x features, e.g., self-trimming or -repairing, requires capable switch resources. While other switching solutions in electromechanical relays and CMOS switches have their own advantages and disadvantages, MEMS switches can become an alternative in switching solutions. Our research group focuses on applying and designing MEMS switches to better enable self-x features in 3D AMR smart sensor nodes, e.g., to adapt to ambient changes. The AMR sensor performance has tendency to detoriate over the time when it is used repeatedly and also affected with ambient temperature change. The self-x features will increase the robustness and the adaptability of the sensor node. Two levels of implementation have been demonstrated; at system level and at component level. At system level, MEMS switch has been used to enable self-monitoring and self-repairing features. At component level, AMR sensor from Sensitec and the designated MEMS switches are equipped with self-monitoring and self repairing features. A first PCB -level demonstrator with commercial MEMS-switches has been designed to be used in the localization system context. It also will serve for dedicatedly designed MEMS switches. Initial test results show the MEMS switches offer extra benefits compared to other commercial products. The designated MEMS switches also achieved lower resistance contact (<3Ω), lower switching actuation at 70V with additional functions of self-monitoring and self-repairing. Future works will bring further effort to combine these functions to single chip integration.