A Capacitance-To-Digital Converter for MEMS Sensors for Smart Applications


The use of MEMS sensors has been increasing in recent years. To cover all the applications, many different readout circuits are needed. To reduce the cost and time to market, a generic capacitance-to-digital converter (CDC) seems to be the logical next step. This work presents a configurable CDC designed for capacitive MEMS sensors. The sensor is built with a bridge of MEMS, where some of them function with pressure. Then, the capacitive to digital conversion is realized using two steps. First, a switched-capacitor (SC) preamplifier is used to make the capacitive to voltage (C-V) conversion. Second, a self-oscillated noise-shaping integrating dual-slope (DS) converter is used to digitize this magnitude. The proposed converter uses time instead of amplitude resolution to generate a multibit digital output stream. In addition it performs noise shaping of the quantization error to reduce measurement time. This article shows the effectiveness of this method by measurements performed on a prototype, designed and fabricated using standard 0.13 µm CMOS technology. Experimental measurements show that the CDC achieves a resolution of 17 bits, with an effective area of 0.317 mm², which means a pressure resolution of 1 Pa, while consuming 146 µA from a 1.5 V power supply.

DOI: 10.3390/s17061312

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Sanjurjo2017ACC, title={A Capacitance-To-Digital Converter for MEMS Sensors for Smart Applications}, author={J. P. Sanjurjo and Enrique Prefasi and Cesare Buffa and Richard Gaggl}, booktitle={Sensors}, year={2017} }