Texas Instruments designers have developed an entirely new data converter with the LDC1000 inductance-to-digital converter (LDC) designed specifically for inductive sensing applications.
The LDC uniquely combines all of the external circuitry on chip that is normally required to simultaneously measure the impedance and resonant frequency of an LC resonator. It then regulates the oscillation amplitude in a closed loop to a constant level, while it monitors the dissipated energy of the resonator.
This leads the accurate measurement of inductance of the front-end LC circuit, which enables precise measurement of linear/angular position, displacement, motion, compression, vibration, metal composition and new applications which will be conceived by designers. All of this can be done in the presence of oil, dust, dirt and moisture unlike most other solutions.
What this means to designers is that the applications, beyond the obvious ones mentioned below, are still to be developed as creative minds will find uses for this device in areas that might not be evident right now.
Yes, necessity breeds invention, so new design needs will find that this unique device can be used in ways in which no other device is capable. Existing sensor technologies shortfalls can be eliminated with the front-end capabilities, compactness, low cost, low power and sheer flexibility of this LDC. It may well have you rethink your use of currently popular Hall-effect, pressure, ohmic, capacitive, optical and ultrasonic sensors.
I have been in the electronics industry for 41 years. I remember back in the 70s when analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) were on PC cards – the sample-and-hold amplifier, reference and the A/D converter all constructed in hybrid form on ceramic substrates. The 80s brought about ADCs in big rectangular metal cans, still with a hybrid technology on a ceramic substrate. Then came the 90s with monolithic die ADCs with and without sample-and-hold amplifier in ceramic and then plastic packages.
For more detail: Texas Instruments inductance to digital converter (LDC)