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Advances in Solid-State Magnetic Sensors for Medical Devices
Keywords: Sensors, Magnetic, Solid-state
Magnetic sensors are used in a variety of medical devices, including implantable neurostimulators, implantable CRM devices, and hearing aids. In recent years, solid-state sensors have been increasingly popular because of their sensitivity, size, and reliability. This paper will examine the principles of operation, advantages and disadvantages of various solid-state sensors compared to electromechanical alternatives such as ampoule reed switches and magnetic MEMS switches. Principles of operation will include inherent differences in output characteristics, power requirements, spatial sensitivity, and speed. We will summarize the pros and cons of different solid-state magnetic sensors including Hall effect, anisotropic magnetoresistive (AMR), giant magnetoresistive (GMR), and tunneling magnetoresistive (TMR). Performance parameters summarized will include sensitivity and saturation fields. Finally, we will cover recent advances in magnetic sensor materials, electronics, and packaging, as well as trends such as miniaturization, sensitivity, high field immunity, on-chip signal processing, and on-chip power management.
Daniel A. Baker, Ph.D, President & CEO
NVE Corporation
Eden Prairie, MN

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