12

Microcontrollers and Digital Signal Processors for Smart Sensor Systems

Ratcho M. Ivanov

12.1 Introduction

In addition to a wide variety of other applications, microcontrollers (MCUs) and digital signal processors (DSPs) are also very suited for application in data-acquisition systems, control systems, and smart sensor systems. The design of a smart sensor system starts with selecting the transducers needed to evaluate the physical quantity to be measured. Unfortunately, transducers rarely, if ever, output the exact electrical parameter, or value, suitable for direct input to a microcontroller. Therefore, the main part of the effort in designing smart sensor systems is related to the analog and digital signal processing needed to acquire suitable input signals for the MCUs and DSPs.

DSPs and MCUs are programmable processors which can utilize software programs to achieve different functions and features. It is often required to convert analog signals to digital ones, using analog-to-digital converters to do digital processing and to interface to data-acquisition systems and control systems. In addition, it is often required to implement smart data processing, such as autocalibration, self-testing, and other advanced features, which can easily be performed because of the substantial computational power of the digital processors. For an optimal system design, the processor must be embedded in the overall sensor system. For real-time signal processing, DSP is rated best or exceptional ...

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