MCUs from TI sense flow rate

January 17, 2018 Rich Nass

Yup, there’s an MCU for just about everything. Case in point, the MSP430FR6xx family of ultrasonic sensing and measurement SoCs are optimized for water and heat meters. As part of the Texas Instruments’ MSP430 MCU family, the new devices provide the accuracy needed for a wide range of flow rates. This is handled through an integrated ultrasonic sensing solution (USS) module. The high integration of the USS module means that fewer external components are required. Hence, a lower overall system cost.

The MCUs implement a high-speed ADC-based signal acquisition followed by optimized digital signal processing using the integrated low-energy accelerator (LEA) module to deliver a high-accuracy metering solution with ultra-low power optimum for battery-powered metering applications.

The USS module includes a programmable pulse generator (PPG) and a physical interface (PHY) with a low-impedance output driver for optimum sensor excitation and accurate impendence matching to deliver best results for zero-flow drift (ZFD). The module also includes a programmable gain amplifier (PGA) and a high-speed 12-bit 8-Msps sigma-delta ADC (SDHS) for accurate signal acquisition from industry-standard ultrasonic transducers.

The devices integrate other peripherals to improve system integration for metering, including a metering test interface (MTIF) module to implement pulse generation to indicate flow measured by the meter. Also included is an on-chip 8-mux LCD driver, an RTC, a 12-bit SAR ADC, an analog comparator, an advanced encryption accelerator (AES256), and a cyclic redundancy check (CRC) module.

The MSP430FR6xx MCUs are supported by an extensive hardware and software ecosystem with reference designs and code examples to get your design started quickly. Development kits include the MSP-TS430PZ100E 100-pin target development board and EVM430-FR6047 ultrasonic water flow meter EVM. TI also provides free software including the ultrasonic sensing design center, ultrasonic sensing software library, and MSP430Ware software.

About the Author

Rich Nass

Richard Nass is the Executive Vice-President of OpenSystems Media. His key responsibilities include setting the direction for all aspects of OpenSystems Media’s Embedded and IoT product portfolios, including web sites, e-newsletters, print and digital magazines, and various other digital and print activities. He was instrumental in developing the company's on-line educational portal, Embedded University. Previously, Nass was the Brand Director for UBM’s award-winning Design News property. Prior to that, he led the content team for UBM Canon’s Medical Devices Group, as well all custom properties and events in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Nass has been in the engineering OEM industry for more than 25 years. In prior stints, he led the Content Team at EE Times, handling the Embedded and Custom groups and the TechOnline DesignLine network of design engineering web sites. Nass holds a BSEE degree from the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

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