This section provides an overview for magnetic field sensors as well as their applications and principles. Also, please take a look at the list of 8 magnetic field sensor manufacturers and their company rankings. Here are the top-ranked magnetic field sensor companies as of March, 2024: 1.STMicroelectronics, 2.Balluff, 3.Sensoronix, Inc..
A magnetic field sensor is a sensor that detects the earth's magnetism (geomagnetism).
There are two types: a 2-axis type that can detect the XY axis and a 3-axis type that can detect the XYZ axis. The 2-axis type can be used on flat terrain, but the 3-axis type cannot accurately detect the geomagnetic field unless it is used on a slope.
Magnetic field sensors are used to detect direction. They are used as electronic compasses in GPS devices for mountain climbing and are also used in smartphones and car navigation systems to measure the orientation of the device on a map.
The 2-axis type is used in automobiles to detect the XY axis, while the 3-axis type, which can detect the XYZ axis, should be used in aircraft and other vehicles capable of three-dimensional motion such as pitch and yaw.
A magnetic field sensor measures the magnetic force in the X-axis, Y-axis, and in the case of a 3-axis sensor, in the direction of the Z-axis, and calculates the azimuth.
There are three types of magnetic field sensors: Hall sensors, MR (Magneto Resistance) sensors, and MI (Magneto Impedance) sensors are the most common types of magnetic field sensors. The principle of each type of sensor is explained below.
The magnetic flux, which is the perpendicular component of the magnetic field, gives an electromotive force to the Hall element, which is then sensed as geomagnetism. The Hall effect is used to measure the magnetic flux density, and after passing through an amplification circuit, the sensor outputs a voltage proportional to the magnetic flux density. It is characterized by its ease of use.
In MR sensors, the magnetic flux, which is the horizontal component of the magnetic field, ohms the MR element, which is then sensed as the geomagnetic field. It differs from a Hall sensor in that it measures the magnitude of the geomagnetic field by utilizing the change in the electrical resistance of the MR element caused by the magnetic field.
Because of its higher sensitivity and lower power consumption compared to Hall sensors, it is used more frequently and is often used for geomagnetic sensing applications such as electronic compasses, motor rotation, and position sensing applications.
MI sensors use wires made of a special material called amorphous wire, which does not have a crystalline state. When a pulse current is applied to the amorphous wire in the presence of geomagnetic field, the MI effect is generated and the geomagnetic field is detected using the change in magnetic impedance. The MI effect is more than 10,000 times more sensitive than a Hall sensor, so even minute changes in the geomagnetic field can be measured with high accuracy.
The MI effect is a phenomenon in which the impedance of a magnetic material changes with high sensitivity in an external magnetic field when a high-frequency current that causes a skin effect is applied to the magnetic material.
The skin effect refers to the effect that when a high-frequency current flows through a conductor, the current density increases near the surface of the conductor and decreases as it moves toward the interior.
A Hall element is a magnetic sensor that uses the Hall effect. The Hall effect is a phenomenon in which an electromotive force is generated in a direction perpendicular to the current and the magnetic field when a magnetic field is applied perpendicular to the electrons flowing through a material.
The charged particles that carry the current are subjected to the Lorentz force under the influence of the magnetic field, which causes a bias in the charge within the material. At this time, a potential difference is generated within the material, resulting in an electromotive force.
MR sensor elements are magnetic sensor elements that utilize the magnetoresistive effect (MR effect), a phenomenon in which the resistance value changes when the magnetic field is changed.
Electrons have two spin states called up-spin and down-spin. As electrons move through a ferromagnetic material, the scattering probability within the magnetized material fluctuates when the spin state of the electrons changes up or down. This is what causes the MR effect.
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Honeywell International Inc. was founded in 1885 and headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. Honeywell is a diversified technology and manufacturing company to global customers in many industries such as aerospace, building technologies, performance materials, manufacturing, and safety. Honeywell produces hardware and software solutions for each industry it serves. In building technologies, Honeywell designs access controls, electrical and wiring, fire life safety, and employee training services. In aerospace, Honeywell designs cockpit systems and displays, engines, cabin management and cleaning, and health and usage monitoring.
B&Plus USA, Inc., formed in 1980 and headquartered in Ogawamachi, Japan, is a manufacturer of advanced electronic technologies and products for use in machining tools and other manufacturing equipment. The company specializes in making remote power supply, remote sensor systems, and remote coupler systems. It also crafts RFID systems, proximity switches, encoders, and guide sensors. Remote power supply, which is a system for remotely providing power, is used as a power source for a motor and to recharge the batteries of robots and automated guided vehicles.
Asahi Kasei Microdevices Corporation, founded in 1980, is a Japanese manufacturer headquartered in Chiyoda City, Tokyo, specializing in sensing devices and integrated circuit (IC) products. The company’s product offerings include magnetic sensors, current and gas sensors, audio devices, and specialty devices. These products have diverse applications, such as in personal electronics, where AKM provides compact and low-consumption features for sound and magnetic sensing. They offer CO2 sensors and transceiver IC for millimeter-wave radar with high spatial recognition for smart homes. Additionally, AKM provides rotation angle sensors in industrial equipment like robots and motors to achieve accuracy and off-axis alignment simultaneously.
ALPS ALPINE CO., established in 1948, is a manufacturer and supplier of sensors＆communication, modules＆systems, and components based in Tokyo, Japan. The company serves the energy, healthcare, automotive, mobile, and consumer electronics domains, where they combine and build on core device technology, including human-machine interfaces, SENSORING™, and connectivity. For example, in the healthcare industry, they supply components for medical equipment, including control switches, sensors, lenses, and joysticks, and the Senclear™ Microfluidic Devices for drug discovery and development. Their power conversion modules, current sensors inverters, and converters are used in the energy industry in storage batteries, solar power systems, and electric vehicle charging systems.
SENSATEC Co. Ltd., established in 1988 and based in Kyoto, Japan, is a manufacturer and supplier of OEM sensors. The company specializes in crafting electronic detection and control devices, medical tools, and beauty equipment, including various sensors, A/D/D/A converters, and optical fiber data systems. Its diverse product range also includes cable and coil winding processing, and it provides support for metal mask manufacturing. The company also offers tailored designs emphasizing miniaturization and handles everything from standard strips to soldering and assembly.
Balluff was founded in 1921 and is headquartered in Neuhausen, near Stuttgart, Germany. Balluff is a manufacturer of sensor and automation solutions for customers globally. Balluff serves many industries including life sciences, semiconductors, metalworking, fluid power, and mobile equipment. Balluff’s product line consists of sensors and connectivity components, accessories, complete systems, and software. Balluff offers services to assist customers across the range of finding solutions, deploying solutions, training, as well as support.
ST Micro Electronics is a global semiconductor company serving customers with innovations to have a positive impact on people's lives. Their product line is micro electronic systems, such as switches, controllers, sensors and drivers. The main selling point of ST Micro Electronics is its provision of sustainable products, and introducing their electronics to create a more sustainable world. The company, as well as providing the electronic devices, also provides software and support, ensuring that all fields are covered to provide a fully provide a supported and strong relationship with their customer base. ST Micro Electronics believe that technology plays a key role in helping to solve environmental and social challenges, which is why their semiconductor technologies start with their employees, their customers and partners.
*Including some distributors, etc.
*Including some distributors, etc.
|Number of Companies
|United States of America