Plug-n-play sensors ready for prime time

May 20, 2004
With the IEEE 1451.4 standard ready to be formally approved, sensor manufacturers are gearing up to provide sensors with TEDS, or transducer electronic data sheets, capability.

A suite of new products from National Instruments handles TEDS-enabled analog sensors.

The standard is now in committee and there are already TEDS sensors on the market.

The IEEE 1451.4 standard delivers plug-andplay capability to analog sensors, letting users automate the configuration of measurement systems. The standard makes data-acquisition systems easier to set up, configure, and maintain.

A TEDS sensor consists of analog components and an embedded memory chip, which together provide mixed-mode interface for analog and digital signals. A smart TEDS sensor identifies and describes itself, providing such information as the manufacturer, sensor model number, serial number, measurement range, sensitivity, and calibration information.

Several new products from National Instruments, Austin (, are geared toward the new standard. First, the BNC-2096 is a front-end TEDS interface for NI 4472 and SCXI-1530/1531 modules. Units pass analog signals from the sensor to the data-acquisition modules for conditioning and digitizing. Units also transmit digital TEDS content to a PC via an E-Series multifunction DAQ device or a switch controller.

The SCXI-1314T is a front-mount terminal block for the SCXI-1520 bridge input module. It's compatible with all Class-2 TEDS bridge-based sensors as well as voltage-output sensors to M10V. It comes with RJ-50 connectors, one per channel for both sensor and TEDS data, and a 100-kW shunt calibration resistor on each channel. Modules provide digital communication to the TEDS-sensor EEPROM as well as the physical connection to both the analog and digital sensor signals.

Lastly, the SC-2350 has 10 SCC module sockets to accommodate modules for conditioning signals on the analog input channels of a DAQ device. It contains a TEDS microcontroller with two digital lines per analog module slot for communication with TEDS sensors. The communication lines let users connect Class II TEDS sensors and condition them with an SCC analog input module.

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