There is a wide variety of sensing elements available on the market to accommodate different types of measurements. Low-cost versions of these sensors often introduce quite a large spread of gain and offset variation into the production of a sensing device. One way to overcome this spread is to add amplification integrated circuits (ICs) and to laser-trim the amplification settings before connecting the sensing element to the analog-to-digital converter (ADC). Or one can buy higher cost, more sensitive, and better-controlled sensor elements.

This paper discusses another, more convenient approach: using Semtech’s ZoomingADC data acquisition device, which combines the advantages of over-sampled ADCs with an embedded amplification stage to measure low-cost sensor elements with the highest resolution.