Magnetic field signal conditioner and processor
Microcontroller enables low cost, easy to use linear magnetic sensors
Technologies used


Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    332 Instruments and appliances for measuring, checking, testing etc.
    333 Industrial process control equipment

Speake & Co. Limited, United Kingdom, developed a microcontroller for their range of magnetic sensors, in 9 months with a budget of 40KECU. The project began on 1st April 1996 and finished on 30th December 1996. The company had five employees, with one involved in electronics design.

This small company was traditionally involved in computer magnetic media services and support equipment, from computer tape rehabilitation through to hard disk servo-writer design and manufacture. The existing product was a range of small, low cost magnetic field sensors, based on analogue electronics. These sensors required a significant amount of additional electronics to be provided by the customer, in order to incorporate them into an end product, and it was perceived that this was limiting their market acceptance. The objective of the experiment was therefore to design an intelligent sensor, based upon a PIC microcontroller, to provide a digital output of the magnetic field strength. A particular problem was how to implement the complex mathematical algorithms necessary to provide zero offsetting and calibration of the sensor.

The project enabled Speake & Co. to offer an integrated solution, enabling their customers to easily interface to the magnetic sensors. As a result of the project the SCL004 was produced which functions as a magnetic compass, and in addition have been able to produce the SCL001 , SCL002, SCL006A and SCL007.

The project demonstrated to Speake that it is essential for a small company to use local resources such as Universities in order to be able aware of what current technology can to do and to able to take advantage of that technology.

The Return on Investment was estimated to be 500% over the life of the product and the Payback Period was anticipated to be 24 months.


    Speake & CO Limited
    Elvicta Estate,
    Powys NP8 1DF
    United Kingdom

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

Microcontroller technology provided Speake & CO Limited with the means of improving its products and enhancing its market position. You can also achieve significant benefits by acquiring the right microelectronics technology and utilising it in your product or manufacturing process. You can get help from FUSE to realise this.

FUSE is a technology transfer programme, funded by the European Commission to stimulate the wider use of microelectronics technologies by European enterprises to increase their competitiveness and enhance their economic growth. The demonstrator described here is one of many examples in the public FUSE portfolio covering the whole spectrum of microelectronics technologies and spanning a wide range of applications and industry sectors.

FUSE provides you with:

  • Best practice in acquiring specific microelectronics technologies and conducting full development projects through the FUSE portfolio of real life demonstrator documents.
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Further information and support relating to this and other demonstrators can be obtained from the addresses below.

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Bournemouth University
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