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Introduction

The function of a Hall sensor is based on the physical principle of the Hall effect named after its discoverer E. H. Hall: It means that a voltage is generated transversely to the current flow direction in an electric conductor (the Hall voltage), if a magnetic field is applied perpendicularly to the conductor. As the Hall effect is most pronounced in semiconductors, the most suitable Hall element is a small platelet made of semiconductive material. 

  The Hall effect: In a semiconductive platelet, the Hall voltage is generated by the effect of an external magnetic field acting perpendicularly to the direction of the current.

In the Hall sensors made by Micronas the Hall element with its entire evaluation circuitry is integrated on a single silicon chip. The chip is produced using modern CMOS technology.

  CMOS Hall sensors made by Micronas in leaded and SMD package. The magnetic flux component perpendicular to the chip surface is measured (arrows).

The Hall plate with the current terminals and the taps for the Hall voltage are arranged on the surface of the crystal. This sensor element detects the components of the magnetic flux perpendicular to the surface of the chip and emits a proportional electrical signal which is processed in the evaluation circuits integrated on the sensor chip.

  Functional principle of a Hall sensor: The output voltage of the sensor and the switching state, respectively, depend on the magnetic flux density through the Hall plate.

The different types of Hall sensors are distinguished depending on the mode of signal processing and signal output. Fundamentally, the sensors can be divided into Hall Switches and linear Hall sensors.



Overview of Micronas’ sensor families

 

Hall switches

Hall switches (switching sensors) have an integrated comparator with predefined switching points and a digital output which can be adapted to different logic systems. All Hall switches include an open-drain output transistor and require an external pull-up resistor to the supply voltage. A standard Hall switch has a single Hall plate and responds to the absolute value of the magnetic field perpendicular to the plate. The Hall switch is characterized by the magnetic switching points BON (or BOP ) and BOFF (or BRPN). If the magnetic flux exceeds BON , the output transistor is switched on; on dropping below BOFF, the transistor is switched off. The magnetic hysteresis BHYS is the difference between the switching points BON and BOFF.



Definition of switching points

There are several types of Hall switches available which differ in their switching points and behavior:

Latched switching sensors
The output turns low with the magnetic south pole on the branded side of the package and turns high with the magnetic north pole on the branded side. The output does not change if the magnetic field is removed. For changing the output state, the opposite magnetic field polarity must be applied.



Switching behavior of latched switching sensors

Bipolar switching sensors
The output turns low with the magnetic south pole on the branded side of the package and turns high with the magnetic north pole on the branded side. The output state is not defined for all sensors if the magnetic field is removed. Some sensors will change the output state and some sensors will not.



Switching behavior of bipolar switching sensor

Unipolar switching sensors
The output turns low with the magnetic south pole on the branded side of the package and turns high if the magnetic field is removed. The sensor does not respond to the magnetic north pole on the branded side.



Switching behavior of unipolar switching sensors

Unipolar switching sensors with inverted output
The output turns high with the magnetic south pole on the branded side of the package and turns low if the magnetic field is removed. The output remains low with the magnetic north pole on the branded side.



Switching behavior of unipolar switching sensors with inverted output

 

Differential Hall switches

In addition to the standard switches described above, there are two special versions of Hall switches available:
Differential Hall switches contain two Hall plates which are about 2 mm apart from each other. The output transistor is switched according to the difference of the magnetic flux .B=B2–B1 between the plates. The output transistor is switched on if the difference exceeds .BON and is switched off if the difference drops below BOFF.

 

Two-wire Hall switches

These switches provide the output signal via their current consumption. They employ an internal current source which is switched on or off depending on the magnetic field at the Hall plate. Two-wire switches require only two connections between sensor and evaluation circuit.



Output signal of two-wire Hall switches

 

Linear Sensors

Linear Hall sensors generate an analog output voltage which is proportional to the magnetic flux perpendicular through the Hall plate. The output characteristic is defined by the parameters VOQ (output quiescent voltage) and sensitivity.



Characteristics of linear Hall sensors

VOQ is the output voltage without a magnetic field (B = 0 mT).
Sensitivity
is the ratio .VOUT/B

 

Offset compensation

Besides the Hall effect, there is a number of other voltage-generating effects (e. g. mechanical package stress) which generate an offset to the Hall voltage and can so impair the measuring accuracy of the sensors. With the active offset compensation (chopper principle) applied for the first time by Micronas, the direction of the current and the taps of the Hall voltage are continuously commutated; this method allows the offset component to be suppressed. The result is sensors with ultimate switching accuracy and temperature/long-term stability, as well as low series scatter. Micronas’ CMOS Hall sensors are complete sensor systems on a single chip. Apart from the actual Hall element, all circuits for signal processing are integrated.



Micronas’ CMOS Hall sensors are complete sensor systems on a single chip. The Hall element and all circuits for signal processing are integrated.

All Hall switches belonging to the HAL 3xx, 5xx, 62x, 7xx, and HAL 1000 families, as well as the linear sensors HAL 8xx and HAL 401, are equipped with active offset compensation.

 

Product Overview

Micronas offers nine families of Hall sensors which differ in terms of their operating principle, switching behavior, and application-specific design. The table shows the available sensor families and their essential characteristics:

The table shows the available sensor families and their essential characteristics:

Characteristics Sensor types
HAL114
HAL115
HAL300
HAL320
HAL
401

HAL50x
HAL51x
HAL525
HAL535
HAL
54x
HAL556
HAL56x

HAL57x
HAL58x
HAL621
HAL629
HAL700
HAL710
HAL730
HAL740
HAL805
HAL810 HAL815
HAL
1000
HAL
1500
Hall switch      
Differential Hall switch                    
Two-wire sensor                    
Linear Hall sensor                
Detection of Speed and Direction                
Programmable, TCOST                
Choppered offset compensation    
Reverse-polarity protection  
Short-circuit-proof output   1)
Power-on reset              
Low jitter                
24 V max. operating voltage        
SMD package SOT-89    
Leaded Package TO-92    

1) Sensor output is connected to supply voltage. Therefore, a short-circuit does not affect the sensor but might damage the external supply voltage source.

Please note, that in addition to the sensor types listed, customer-specific designs are possible. This could, e.g., be sensors that have specific switching points, temperature compensation, or switching logic. Please contact us for further details.

The CMOS Hall sensors made by Micronas have the following characteristics:

- Designed for the specifications and requirements of industry and automotive electronics.
-

Most Hall switches operate in a wide supply voltage range (typical 4.5 V to 24 V, HAL 50x, HAL 51x, HAL 525, and HAL 535 from 3.8 V). The sensors are available for different temperature ranges; they mainly operate in the ambient temperature range –40 °C to 150 °C.

 

Overview of CMOS Hall sensors by Micronas and their applications:
- HAL 114 and HAL 115: low-cost Hall switches
- HAL 300 and HAL 320: differential field sensors;
HAL 300: optimized for multi-pole ring applications;
HAL 320: optimized for back-bias applications.
- HAL 50x, HAL 51x, HAL 525, and HAL 525: allround family of Hall switches comprising sensors with different magnetic switching points.
- HAL 556, HAL 566, HAL 57x, and HAL 58x: two-wire sensors supplying the output signal via the current supply, thus saving one terminal in the system design.
- HAL 62x: “low-jitter” Hall sensors with continuous signal processing, delivering an output signal with a high degree of reproducibility. These sensors are designed for the precise evaluation of very fast signals.
- HAL 7xx: special-purpose Hall sensors with two independent outputs for controling position, speed, and direction of the target movement. These sensors are designed for position-control applications with direction detection and alternating magnetic signals such as multipole magnet applications, rotating speed and direction measurement, position tracking, and window lifters.
- HAL 8xx: These linear sensors allow programming of the main characteristics like magnetic field range, sensitivity, temperature compensation, and output quiescent voltage in an internal EEPROM. By the electronic calibration of the sensor in the final customer application, tolerances from the magnetic circuit and mechanical assembly can be compensated. This TCOST (Total Compensation Of System Toler-ances) principle eases the customer’s logistics, development, and production.
Programming is done by a supply voltage modulation. An application tool (hard- and software) for easy calibration is available from Micronas.
- HAL 1000: programmable Hall switch based on the HAL 8xx providing a swiching output signal.
The major characteristics – the two switching points BON and BOFF – are programmable in the customer application.
- HAL 1500: programmable Hall switch. The major characteristics – offset, hysteresis, output polarity and temperature coefficient – are programmable in the customer application. The sensor also provides a multi-level switch output and can be used as a linear sensor with low resolution (4 bit). The sensor is programmed via its output pin by modulating the supply voltage. An application tool (hard- and software) for easy calibration is available from Micronas.



Block diagram HAL 855: Due to its integrated digital signal processing and the EEPROM cells, this Hall sensor of the new generation is individually programmable.

 

Packages

The Hall switches 11x, 300, 320, 5xx, and 62x are available in the leaded TO-92UA, as well, as in the SOT-89B SMD package.
The HAL 401 and HAL 7xx are available in the SOT-89B SMD package, only.
The HAL 8xx and HAL 1000 are available in the leaded package TO-92UT.

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