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 having the ability to measure directly at the process. Regarding sensors mounted directly on the circuit board, the sensor element is, oftentimes, exposed right to the medium. With remote sensors, steel or ceramic generally serve as the wetted surface.
I�C circuit
The I�C bus, alongside both 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 a well-known standard in electronics, offering additional possibilities for communication with a pressure sensor than with 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) could be transmitted via a status byte.
Several pressure sensors could be connected to a bus line as ?slaves? to the client electronics that functions as a ?master?.
On the customer side, as opposed to using 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 within digital form. This contributes to faster and easier signal processing.
The electronics for communication could be built with standard components easily available on the market.
Often, I�C signal pressure sensors may also be optimised to take less energy, making them perfect for battery-powered applications. In the WIKA portfolio, for instance, this pertains 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 are not recommended. The maximum wire length depends, at length, 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 built-into the customer product and thus protected against external influences. It will also be noted that with any digitally processed signal, the response time because of discrete-time sampling will undoubtedly be somewhat slower than for an analogue, continuous signal.
Note
Your contact person will undoubtedly be happy to help you with any further questions on digital interfaces.
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