Maxim: small, low power 4-20mA sensor transmitter for industrial automation

Create small, low power, and highly accurate designs for industrial automation applications with the MAX12900 ultra-low power, highly integrated 4-20mA sensor transmitter from Maxim Integrated Products. Ideal applications include industrial automation and process control, loop-powered 4-20mA current transmitters, remote instrumentation, and smart sensors.

Nowadays, system designers must develop enhanced 4-20mA sensor transmitters with several considerations in mind. These include improved measurement accuracy over a wide temperature range and reduced size to fit in a small enclosure. In addition, they are required to meet a tight current budget of their overall sensor transmitter system of 4mA maximum. 

The MAX12900 increases system accuracy with 10 ppm/°C voltage reference for up to 3.5x lower drift compared to traditional solutions. The small footprint (5 x 5mm package size) of the MAX12900 integrates 10 optimized building blocks that results in significant space savings of 20%-50% vs. traditional 4-20mA sensor transmitter implementations. The addition of an integrated high voltage LDO and power sequencing capability simplifies the power up of the 4-20mA sensor transmitter. Its reduced current consumption for low power requires just 250uA of current maximum, enabling up to 50% power savings compared to traditional solutions. The new MAX12900 solution reduces implementation complexity, generating system cost savings by converting pulse width modulation data from a microcontroller into current over a 4-20mA loop with two, three, or four wire configurations. The MAX12900 is available in a 32-pin TQFN package and operates over a wide industrial temperature range of -40 to +125°C.


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