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[FAQ] Analog vs. Digital sensors, which one should I pick?

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Analog vs. Digital sensors, which one should I pick?

BR-

Josh

  • Differences: A temperature sensor with an analog output, such as the TMP235, TMP61 or LMT87, use a transfer function to determine the temperature. A sensor with a digital output, such as the TMP112, TMP117, TMP1075 or LMT01 do not require the system to know or program the internal analog transfer function to determine the temperature.

    Usage: Systems with an analog sensor require an ADC to digitize its output and use a look-up-table or polynomial based equation (both in software) to determine the temperature. Digital sensors already produce the digitized output of the measured temperature which can be read back over a digital interface (e.g. I2C).

    Calibration requirements: For analog sensors, gain and offset of the ADC may need to be calibrated to achieve the desired system accuracy. System temperature accuracy is not guaranteed in datasheet as it is heavily dependent on the ADC reference error.
    Digital sensors don’t need to be calibrated in order to get the accuracy that is guaranteed in the datasheet.

    General guidance: As a general rule of thumb, digital temperature sensors are preferred in almost all cases due to lower system integration complexity and higher out-of-the-box performance. Exceptions where a digital sensor may cannot be used and an analog sensor is necessary include a lack of a suitable available digital interface bus or cost constraints

    This landing page is a great place to start as it covers the entire temperature sensing portfolio (analog, digital, switches and our new line of linear thermistors which can be used to replace NTCs) that we offer: 

    http://www.ti.com/sensors/temperature-sensors/overview.html 

    BR-

    Josh

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