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Analysis of Direct Sensor-to-Embedded Systems Interfacing: A Comparison of Target's Performance

Journal article
Authors Lars Bengtsson
Published in International Journal of Intelligent Mechatronics and Robotics
Volume 2
Issue 1
Pages 41-56
ISSN 2156-1664
Publication year 2012
Published at Department of Physics (GU)
Pages 41-56
Language en
Keywords Accuracy, Complex Programmable Logic Device, Field Programmable Gate Array, Microcontroller, Precision, Sensors
Subject categories Other Physics Topics, Electronic measurement and instrumentation, Electronics


This paper is concerned with the direct interfacing of resistive sensors to different embedded targets. We use the idea of “direct sensor-to-microcontroller” technique where analog sensors are interfaced directly to inherently digital controllers and we compare the performance of this technique when applied to a typical microcontroller (PIC18), a CPLD and an FPGA. Experimental results show that 5 V systems, like the PIC18 controller, have an advantage over 3.3 V systems in terms of better precision performance, while the CPLD outperforms both the microcontroller and the FPGA in terms of accuracy. The accuracy depends mainly on the output impedance of the system’s I/O ports and the precision depends mainly on trigger level noise. The PIC18 controller also has the best performance in terms of linearity and sensitivity. A lot of works have been published concerning direct interfacing to microcontrollers, but little attention has been paid to alternative targets like CPLD and FPGA. This work will benchmark these different kinds of targets and prove that the direct interfacing technique can also be applied to CPLDs and FPGAs.

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