PicoStrain Technology Solution

March 15th, 2018
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The PicoStrain product family is a family of parts based on proprietary time-to-digital conversion techniques, which eliminates the disadvantages of analog load cells, including "always on" power consumption, ADC power, and manually trimmed Wheatstone bridges. PicoStrain devices represent state-of-the-art, fully integrated solutions for applications which include digital and wireless load cells, pressure transducers, force/torque sensors, and solar powered kitchen and bathroom scales. Specific to scale applications, designs with PicoStrain devices can achieve OIML and NTEP Legal-for-Trade certification.

Picostrain devices are used in resistive strain gauge applications requiring very high resolution and ultra-low power (microamps) allowing for the possibility of powering the system using energy harvesting, solar power, coin cells, or AA batteries. With integrated 24-bit DSPs, flexible SPI/I2C/UART interfaces, they are easily customized and integrated into user systems.

PS081 System on Chip (SOC)
The PS081 is available as Die or QFN56 package, and includes an internal LCD controller for 4x14, 3x15, and 2x16 segment displays, making it a truly stand-alone solution for kitchen / bath scales or similar applications.

PS09 System on Chip (SOC)
The PS09 is available as Die or QFN40, perfectly suited for small/compact weighing solutions and digital load cells or consumer scales, with power down to 15uA including the strain gauges. Solar powered, legal-for-trade scales are possible using this solution.

Picostrain devices provide the best solutions for low-cost digital load cells that include temperature compensation without manual trimming of resistors and can operate in harsh environments; applications for which analog load cells are not well suited. This includes the use of half bridge sensors with no Rspan compensation resistor and very high resolution of up to 250,000 or more divisions (based on 2mV/V load cell) at up to 5kHz measurement rates.

Sensor companies such as Transducers Direct, a world leader in innovative pressure solutions, provides leading-edge technology pressure transducers for industrial and home automation applications based on the PicoStrain technology, offering both wired and wireless solutions. Transcell Technology, Inc. a company dedicated to the development of weighing and precision measurement products, has developed leading-edge wireless digital load cells using the PicoStrain technology solution.

The Transcell Technology PicoStrain based load cells will be highlighted at the International Society of Weighing and Measurement Conference and Expo this coming February.