Pressure sensor with I�C communication ? possibilities and boundary conditions

I�C was made to communicate over short distances between printed circuit boards and is really a simple, 8-bit serial data bus. For the time being, it isn’t only PCB-mountable pressure sensors that use the I�C signal for data transfer, but also pressure sensors remote from customer electronics.
Remote sensors usually have the advantage of being less sensitive to contaminated or aggressive media and to be able to measure directly at the process. Regarding sensors mounted directly on the circuit board, the sensor element is, in many cases, exposed directly to the medium. With remote sensors, steel or ceramic generally serve as the wetted surface.
I�C circuit
The I�C bus, alongside the two supply lines, requires only two further lines:
SCL (serial clock line)
SDA (serial data line)
Additional possibilities through I�C
The I�C bus is really a well-known standard in electronics, offering additional possibilities for communication with a pressure sensor than having an analogue signal:
In the data protocol, as well as the pressure value, a temperature value and diagnostic information (for example an integrity test of the info transfer) can be transmitted with a status byte.
Fascinating can be linked to a bus line as ?slaves? to the client electronics that functions as a ?master?.
On the client side, as opposed to the utilization of pressure sensors with analogue signals, the analogue-to-digital conversion of the pressure value for further signal processing is unnecessary since the pressure value has already been present in digital form. This plays a part in faster and easier signal processing.
The electronics for communication can be constructed with standard components easily available on the market.
Often, I�C signal pressure sensors are also optimised to consume less energy, making them perfect for battery-powered applications. In the WIKA portfolio, for instance, this applies to the MPR-1 pressure sensor module.
Boundary conditions with the use of I�C
Since I�C isn’t a fieldbus, long wire lengths aren’t recommended. The utmost wire length depends, in detail, on the operating environment and the corresponding disturbing influences. I�C communication is most beneficial used in projects where the pressure sensor or the pressure sensor module is integrated into the customer product and therefore protected against external influences. It should also be noted that with any digitally processed signal, the response time because of discrete-time sampling will be somewhat slower than for an analogue, continuous signal.
Note
Your contact person will undoubtedly be happy to assist you to with any more questions on digital interfaces.
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