ams introduces complete single-chip hardware and software solution for ultrasonic water flow metering
Published: 10 December 2015 - Lisa Peake
New acam TDC-GP30-F01 includes processor to compute water flow, volume and temperature measurements, making metering system implementation quick and easy. Ultra-low power consumption allows for up to 20 years’ operation on a single AA battery.
ams has extended its family of ultrasonic flow meter ICs with the TDC-GP30-F01, a complete hardware and firmware measurement solution for cold water meters. Drawing a continuous current of just 8.5µA when capturing flow measurements at a rate of 8Hz, the chip can operate for up to 20 years on the energy available from a single AA lithium battery.
The TDC-GP30-F01 includes an ultrasonic flow measurement front end, a low-power 32-bit processor and firmware for converting the sensor’s analog outputs to measurements of cold water flow, volume and temperature. This means that designers of water meters can use the TDC-GP30-F01 to easily and rapidly implement a complete new ultrasonic water meter without developing their own firmware.
The flexible device may be adapted to complement a range of typical spool piece designs. Users only need to characterize their spool pieces. ams provides a full suite of hardware and software tools for evaluating, developing and characterizing designs using the device. It also offers firmware functions such as error handling and power-saving modes when the flow rate is zero. Users also have the option to add their own firmware code. For example, the TDC-GP30-F01’s firmware may be extended easily to implement a heat meter application.
The chip provides a direct connection to ultrasonic transducers, and only requires the addition of a simple microcontroller to operate a water meter’s peripheral functions, such as a display and con-nectivity. Designs based on the TDC-GP30-F01 can therefore be made more compact, with a lower component count than competing approaches that require a complex companion processor for elaborate calculations, and other external components.
‘Using competing devices, the ultrasonic time difference measurement principle calls for a separate processor to convert time information into calibrated flow and volume measurements, and requires the OEM to implement its own complex measurement application software. The TDC-GP30-F01 is the only ultrasonic flow meter IC to handle the computations internally, providing designers with a much easier implementation as well as a smaller bill-of-materials,’ said Georg Jedelhauser, Marketing Director at ams.
TDC-GP30-F01 samples including a demonstration kit is available now. . For sample requests and for more technical information, please click here.