Integrated Circuit Replaces Need For Multiple Components

By Traci Purdum Motorola Inc.'s newest integrated circuit, MC33794, generates and detects a low-level electric field and powers and supports a micro-controller unit in a single chip. The MC33794 is designed to replace numerous discrete devices previously needed to achieve the same functionality, according to Motorola. Target applications of the integrated circuit include appliances, machine tools, automotive safety systems and any product or system that uses touch panel inputs as a user interface. For example, Elesys North America Inc., an Atlanta-based producer of automotive electronic safety systems, is using the MC33794 in its SeatSentry occupant sensing system to stop an airbag from deploying on a child. The system generates low-level electric fields from multiple antennas mounted in the seat's back cushion. The system can identify a child or small adult when the field detects and interprets a change in the current. Other potential applications include liquid level detection, spill detection or moisture sensing. Motorola is based in Schaumburg, Ill.

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