More Capabilities in Pressure Sensors

Venture Development Corp.'s new study on pressure sensors reveals a trend among vendors to incorporate transmitters with output amplification. The study also found that an increasing number of devices offer multivariable output—usually temperature in addition to pressure. One downside of the latter development is that the failure of one sensor means replacement of a more expensive part. But with reliability generally increasing, the concern is not great. VDC's study will publish in early 2006. (

Most systems employing pressure sensors incorporate software as well as board-level application-specific hardware, and sensor manufacturers have added competence to provide complete, system-level solutions, says Daniel DeFalco of All Sensors, pointing out that some newer sensors incorporate more capabilities in software than in hardware. All Sensors' new Desktop Manometer is an example. "It plugs into a PC and provides an input to connect and evaluate any pressure sensor . . . allowing engineers to test their designs before the prototype stage." DeFalco adds that this can shorten design time. (