Magnetoresistive sensor ICs: Better than reed switches

Product Exclusive: Honeywell launches the industry’s first Nanopower Anisotropic Magnetoresistive Sensor Integrated Circuits, with smaller size and greater durability than reed switches, at the same sensitivity and essentially the same cost.

May 19, 2014

Honeywell’s new Nanopower Anisotropic Magnetoresistive Sensor ICs provide the highest level of magnetic sensitivity (as low as 7 Gauss typical) while requiring nanopower (360 nA). When compared to other widely used magnetic technologies, these sensors offer design engineers a number of advantages. Smaller, and more durable and reliable than reed switches, while at the same sensitivity and essentially the same cost, the new Nanopower Series Magnetoresistive Sensor ICs are ideal for battery powered applications where previously only reed switches could be used due to very low power requirements and large air gap needs.

The sensors have a higher sensitivity than Hall-effect sensors and allow the ability to sense air gaps two times the distance of Hall-effect sensors. The higher sensitivity improves design flexibility and can offer significant application cost savings by utilizing smaller or lower strength magnets.

The Nanopower Series Magnetoresistive Sensor ICs are designed for use in a wide range of battery-operated applications including water and gas meters, electricity meters, industrial smoke detectors, exercise equipment, security systems, handheld computers, and scanners; as well as white goods such as dishwashers, microwaves, washing machines, refrigerators, and coffee machines; and medical equipment such as hospital beds, medication dispensing cabinets, infusion pumps, and consumer electronics.

The Nanopower Series is available in two magnetic sensitivities:

  • Ultra-high sensitivity SM351LT: 7 Gauss typical operate, 11 Gauss maximum operate, very low current draw (360 nA typical)
  • Very high sensitivity SM353LT: 14 Gauss typical operate, 20 Gauss maximum operate, very low current draw (310 nA typical).


– Edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager, CFE Media, Control Engineering,


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