The pressure sensor is used in a new safety system that the automotive system supplier Continental AG has developed in collaboration with a well known automobile manufacturer. The first generation of the system is already being used in various premium vehicles. Continental chose pressure sensors of Infineon because they measure the air pressure pulse very reliably and rapidly – regardless of the ambient air pressure. The sensors have proven themselves for many years in another safety-related automotive application: as a side airbag sensor.
KP200: Central component for improved pedestrian protection
Infineon offers its KP200 pressure sensor as a central component for automobile safety systems. For the pedestrian protection system that Continental developed together with the vehicle manufacturer, an air hose is built into the front bumper of the car. This air hose contains two KP200 pressure sensors, one at either end, for reasons of redundancy. In the event of an impact, they measure the change in pressure in the air hose, evaluate this data in real time and transmit the pressure data every 500 microseconds to a central airbag control unit. A KP200 sensor takes an average of less than 40 microseconds to record these measurements and prepare the data. The central control unit then activates the mechanism that raises the hood, which lessens the impact on the pedestrian. During the data measurement period, the KP200 pressure sensor independently accounts for changes in the ambient air pressure. This is necessary for reliable impact detection regardless of the weather
or the altitude.
KP200: Proven success in side airbags
Today, the KP200 is already used in the side airbags of vehicles. It enables fast,
reliable ignition of these airbags, which significantly reduces the risk of injury to car occupants. The pressure sensor is monolithically integrated, i.e. the sensor unit for measuring air pressure as well as the evaluation ASIC are located on the same silicon. The sensor measures the pressure pulse in the side door of the vehicle independently of the prevailing ambient air pressure. It processes the sensor data in real time and sends the data to the central control unit, which then triggers the side airbags.
Infineon is the leading manufacturer of semiconductor sensors
Infineon is among the leading manufacturers of semiconductor sensors and recently sold its two-billionth sensor. According its own estimates, Infineon is the world’s market leader for side airbag systems with fully integrated pressure sensors; its market share here is circa 65 percent. Infineon has a market share of circa 50 percent in the tire pressure monitoring systems business (TPMS); its market share in the area of Antilock Brake Systems (ABS) with sensors for wheel speed measurement is likewise circa 50 percent.
Infineon offers a broad product family of pressure sensors that includes customer-specific solutions and that also takes the newest side airbag standards (PSI5 and AK-LV 29) into account. The company is one of the world's few semiconductor manufacturers that offer the three essential sensor groups (measurement of pressure, acceleration and magnetic fields) for safety and powertrain applications as well as body and convenience electronics.
Technical details of the KP200 pressure sensor
The KP200 is offered in the PG-DSOF-8 SMD package with dimensions of only 7 mm by 7 mm. The sensor chip is designed for the standard pressure range of 50.9 kPa to 126.5 kPa (509 mbar to 1265 mbar or 7.4 psi to 18.3 psi) and operating temperatures of -40 °C to 85 °C. Its operating voltage lies between 4.5 V and 11 V. Its current consumption averages 8mA and its sensitivity is 20.48 LSB per percent pressure change. Communication with the central computer occurs via PSI5 protocol, thus requiring only two wires, by modulating the data on the on the power supply line. Consequently, the KP200 is compatible with the AK-LV 29 automotive standard.
Further information on Infineon’s pressure sensor products and the KP200 sensor is available at infineon.com/pressure. Information on Infineon’s sensors and other automotive semiconductors is available online.
Infineon Technologies AG (infineon.com), Neubiberg, Germany, offers semiconductor and system solutions addressing three central challenges to modern society: energy efficiency, mobility, and security. In the 2011 fiscal year (ending September 30), the company reported sales of Euro 4.0 billion with close to 26,000 employees worldwide. Infineon is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (ticker symbol: IFX) and in the USA on the over-the-counter market OTCQX International Premier (ticker symbol: IFNNY).
Information Number: INFATV201206.048