amsâ€˜ focus is on measuring tasks that require a resolution down to a few picoseconds. While a standard counter needs several hundred gigahertz, acamâ€˜s products work with low and medium range reference clocks and are easy to use for the customer. acam offers the full range from low-cost ICs for industrial mass production through high-end ICs to full system solutions. The use of pure digital circuit design makes it easy to adapt the TDC to different measurement tasks. Accordingly, acamâ€˜s strong core competence is the development of customized TDCâ€˜s which are tailored to the specific measurement requirements of the customer. acamâ€˜s TDCs are used in industrial, biomedical and scientific products.
Since its founding in 1996, acam messelectronic gmbh has been developing and producing solutions and concepts for measuring based on time interval measurement in the picosecond range. The expert knowledge in developing integrated circuits for high precision time measurement is used to customize the universal nature of time measurement to common measurement categories, such as resistance or capacity. Our pure digital converters based on CMOS technology not only achieve best performance characteristics but also open completely new possibilities for customer applications.
Based on acam's TDC (Time-to-Digital Converter) technology new product families arose named as PICOTURN, PICOSTRAIN and PICOCAP, which demonstrate the manifoldness and power of this measuring principle. The KARDUX cup award of the PS02, a member of our PICOSTRAIN product family, emphasizes the innovation of our products. Their outstanding features are low power consumption, high accuracy and high measuring rates associated with competitive pricing.
The aim of the company is to establish our digital measuring technology and its advantages as alternative to common analog measuring principles to enter the large application potential in sensor technology and automotive environment as well as for consumer applications. The use of standardized digital CMOS technologies has been proved as a big advantage even for the use in mass applications. This simplifies the implementation of customer requirements in
application specific IC's up to System-on-Chip (SoC) solutions associated with are simplified and with marginal risk. The cooperation with established ASIC-vendors and silicon foundries guarantees highest quality and reliability for our customers.
Acam is dedicated not only to continuous enhancement of the existing product range, but also to responding to customer demands and suggestions with a high degree of flexibility and openness. This ensures that all solutions are custom tailored and represent the state-of-the-art in ultra-precise measurement technology.
The core of acam messelectronic product range is represented by Time-to-Digital converters. A Time-to-Digital converter is a measuring unit for time interval measurement with an accuracy in the picosecond range. The measuring principle is based on the delay of simple logical gates. Despite of their strong dependency to temperature and voltage the use of appropriate control and calibration methods enables to use the gate delay as basic parameter for high precision time interval measurement.. The possibilities of modern CMOS processes permit single shot measurements with an accuracy up to 10 ps (that equals 100 GHz). The favorable statistical behaviour of the digital masuring circuit allows to increase the precision by averaging in the range of femtoseconds. With it's latest product range acam sets standards for all fundamental parameters, such as precision, measuring rate, double pulse resolution, pulse width measurement , current consumption.
The measurement of electrical resistance is transformed to time measurement by measuring the discharging time. Patented methods that are used for driving the resistor bridge and preparation of the measurement data enable an accuracy that is comparable to high-end 24-Bit A/D-converters. Where the offset- and gaindrift as well as the adjustment possiblities is concerned PICOSTRAIN will even beat them. Therefore PICOSTRAIN products are perfectly suited for measering strain gages. At last one item makes PICOSTRAIN unbeatable: The very low current consuption of the whole sensor-converter-system. The outcome of this for battery driven systems, particularly in wireless strain gage applications is a significantly extended operation time.
PICOCAP - Flexibility in capacity measurement
The PICOCAP measuring principle is also based on acam's TDC technology (TDC - Time-to-Digital Converter) and is a direct derivate of the PICOSTRAIN measuring principle. PICOCAP capacitance to digital converters transform the variation of capacitance in a high precision time measurement. The ratio of capacities is given through the ratio of discharging time. This new concept allows a high degree of flexibility and supports a wide capacitance range from pF up to several nF. Patent pending algorithms provide a good suppression of parasitic capacities and ensure a very good temperature stability. The precision to be achieved with PICOCAP is comparable to high-end 24-Bit A/D-converters and even surpasses them at high measurement rates. In combination with it's low power consumption PICOCAP is perfectly suited for all applications that require high measuring rate and accuracy as well as for portable and battery driven solutions with low current consumption.
PICOTURN - Rotational speed sensor for turbochargers
PICOTURN is a pure digital solution for sensing the rotational speed of a turbochargers compressor wheel. The special kind of measurement uses acam's TDC (Time-to-Digital Converter) technology to detect the attenuation of an inductance through eddy currents, and makes the system perfectly suited for the rough environmental conditions that can be found in an engine. The core of the system is represented by a TDC measurement unit followed by a DSP unit that calculates the rotational speed in the range from 200 rpm up to 400.000 rpm. The modular and compact system is easy to mount and especially designed for easy sensor exchange. No modification of rotating parts is necessary. This makes the PICOTURN product family a potential basis for cost effective standard or customized solutions, perfectly suited for the specific needs to measure the rotational speed of turbochargers.