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A capacitance-to-pulse duration converter, specifically designed for interfacing capacitive sensors, is presented. The operating principle is a double slope approach implemented using transconductor-based Miller integrators. The main strengths of the proposed circuit are: 1) intrinsically small sensitivity to temperature; 2) simplicity of trimming offset and gain to correct the sensor parameter spread; and 3) fast wake-up time. The circuit nonidealities are analyzed in order to identify the elements responsible for the residual temperature sensitivity and jitter on the pulse duration. The effectiveness of the method is demonstrated by measurements performed on a prototype, designed and fabricated using the 0.35 mum, 3.3 V Bipolar-CMOS-DMOS process BCD6 of STMicroelectronics.
Date of Publication: Sept. 2007