Texas Instruments Introduces High-Precision, Single-Chip Ultrasonic Sensing Microcontrollers

- May 25, 2018-

Texas Instruments recently introduced a new family of MSP430TM microcontrollers (MCUs) with integrated ultrasonic sensing analog front ends that improve the accuracy of smart water meters and reduce their energy consumption. In addition, Texas Instruments has introduced two new reference designs that make it easier to design modules to add automatic meter reading (AMR) to existing mechanical water meters.

Currently, the market is increasingly demanding more accurate water meters and remote meter readings, and new MCUs and reference designs can provide corresponding support to achieve efficient water resource management, accurate measurement, and timely billing.


Smarter and more precise flow sensing


Part of the ultra-low-power MSP430 MCU portfolio for sensing and measurement, the new MSP430FR6047 MCU family enables developers to leverage the full waveform capture capability and analog-to-digital converter (ADC)-based signal processing to add more to the flowmeter Multi-intelligence features. Compared to competitor's devices, this technology can measure more accurately with a zero-drift average of 25 picoseconds or less and a standard deviation of 32 picoseconds or less, so that less than 1 liter/hour can be detected. The flow rate. In addition, the integrated MSP430FR6047 device can reduce the number of water meter system components by 50% and reduce power consumption by 25%. The meter can operate for 10 years or more without charging the battery. The new MCU also integrates a low energy accelerator module for advanced signal processing, a 256 KB ferroelectric random access memory (FRAM), liquid crystal display (LCD) driver, and metering test interface.


The MSP430 Ultrasonic Sensor Design Center provides a comprehensive development ecosystem that developers can use to bring products to market within months. The design center provides tools for rapid development and flexible customization, including a software library, a graphical user interface (GUI), an evaluation module with metrology and digital signal processing (DSP) libraries.


Compact, Low-Power Reference Design Adds Wireless Communication Capabilities to Mechanical Water Meters


TI's new low-power flow measurement reference design with inductive sensing capability is a compact solution for power measurement of low-power mechanical flowmeters to extend battery life. Enabled by the single-chip SimpleLinkTM dual-band CC1350 wireless MCU, this reference design also enables designers to add dual-band wireless communications to the AMR network. Designers can use the small size of the reference design to easily retrofit an existing mechanical flowmeter, enabling the water company to add AMR without having to replace the installed instrument. The CC1350 wireless MCU consumes only 4uA of current when measuring water flow, extending the life of the product.


The second new reference design is an ultra-low-power solution based on the SimpleLinkTM Sub-1 GHz CC1310 wireless MCU. The low-power wireless M-Bus communications module reference design uses the Texas Instruments Wireless M-Bus software stack and supports all wireless M-Bus operating modes in the 868 MHz band. This reference design provides best-in-class power consumption and flexibility, supporting wireless M-Bus deployment across multiple regions.