Tech Tips: Simulate a Magnetic Position Sensing System in Seconds 

Product designers can simulate magnetic sensing with a free webtool from Texas Instruments  

Designing with magnets comes with challenges. It can be difficult to determine the appropriate magnet and sensor specifications, also to place the magnet relative to the devices. Often, this requires weeks of evaluation. The new TI Magnetic Sensing Simulation tool, free from Texas Instruments, offers a convenient interface that makes it easy to visualize animated magnet motion and simulate across a range of system tolerances and design options in a matter of seconds. It syncs with the company’s portfolio of magnetic sensors. 

A product designer can use the webtool to reduce simulation setup time by sweeping up to 3 parameters at the same time. A user can choose from over 400 device variants and select among many common magnet grades, shapes and motion types. It can be a productive aid in exploring ready to use examples for common design configurations and to quickly select the right device by simulating up to 6 devices simultaneously. The tool estimates magnetic flux density and magnetic sensor outputs for magnetic position sensing systems. It has device emulation and supports various magnet shapes, grades and motion types. Features include configuration of shape and alignment of a magnet, and selection from TI’s portfolio of magnetic sensing devices to emulate electro-mechanical performance of the design. Several common magnet shapes are selectable including axial cylinder, axial ring, radial ring, diametric, bar and sphere. Reference designs for configuring common applications include angle encoding, slide-by, incremental encoding, head-on and lid closure. 

Most devices are capable of modeling in SPICE level simulations but this is problematic when considering magnetic sensors, points out Scott Bryson, a TI application engineer. Magnetic sensing devices rely on an externally applied magnetic field instead of a voltage, which is typically expected for a SPICE model. However, the simulation tool can emulate an electrical response to mechanical motion because it freely rotates and orients both the magnet and sensor while evaluating the magnetic field across the entire range of motion for the magnet. TI has a selection of over 400 orderable sensors including angle sensors, linear sensors, latches, and switches in various sensitivity and packaging options. 

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