August 2, 2007 Alps Electric has completed development of the industry’s smallest (4.8mm long x 4.8mm wide x 1.8 mm high) capacitance type pressure sensor to detect absolute pressure. The sensor can be used to detect pressure in a range of situations from air pressure in tyres to blood pressure. The capacitance-type pressure sensor is generally characterized by high sensitivity and low current consumption and this product also minimizes the influence of temperature changes on pressure detection. Due to the ability of the ceramic packaging to withstand a wide range of temperatures, it can even be used in the volatile automotive environment.
The sensor detects air, blood and other pressures by means of changes in capacitance. Pressure is detected when pressure changes cause the membrane on the moveable electrodes known as a ‘diaphragm’ to flex, the capacitance between the fixed electrodes changes and the degree of this change is converted into an electrical signal.
Sample shipments are expected to become available from October 2007. For further information see the Alps Electric site.