New Incremental Encoders Without Silicon-related Lead Time Constraints

February 09, 2023 by Damond Goodwin

CUI Devices' new AMT13A series of incremental encoders addresses silicon lead time issues and increases the range of shaft sizes available to customers.

CUI Devices' new incremental encoder family improves upon its existing incremental encoder products by adressing lead time constraints and increasing shaft size capability.


absolute vs incremental encoders

Encoders find use in various applications, with their basic duty letting control systems know where a piece of equipment is in its path of travel. Image used courtesy of Canva


Incremental vs Absolute Encoders

Encoders are used in a variety of automation applications. Their basic duty is to let the control system know where a piece of equipment is in its path of travel. To do this, an encoder fits onto a motor or servo motor shaft to keep track of the number and direction of revolutions during operation. Motor encoders can be broken down into two basic types: the incremental encoder and absolute encoder. Each performs the task of relaying the number of rotations taken, but they differ in their method of recording. 

An absolute encoder can know where it is in its path of travel at any given time without needing to access stored information. An incremental encoder can only tell the relative distance from a known location or “home” spot. This means that after a loss of power, the absolute encoder will know its location upon startup and an incremental encoder will not. The incremental encoder must have some way of knowing its location by either going to a home location or some other outside source since it is only capable of keeping relative location.  

In most applications, an incremental encoder is all that is necessary to relay essential information to the control system. Absolute encoders are useful in applications where the location must be known after a power outage, such as the servos in robotic arms.

The AMT13A series of incremental encoders

The AMT13A series of incremental encoders. Image used courtesy of CUI Devices


AMT13A Series Encoders

CUI Devices recently added to its AMT13 series of incremental encoders by creating the AMT13A series of incremental encoders. The new encoders are capable of accepting larger shaft sizes for more versatility. They have also eliminated lead time concerns normally associated with silicon production. Customers can also use the new encoders as a direct replacement for the original AMT13 encoders because they fit within the same footprint. 

Different encoder resolutions can be used through a simple dip switch selection on the encoder. The possible resolution options are 16 quadrature resolutions from 96 to 4096 PPR. The encoders are energy efficient and only draw 8 mA at 5 V, helping to reduce energy costs for end users. 

The encoders can be operated using a differential line driver. Harsh working conditions are also less of a factor because of CUI Devices’ proprietary capacitive ASIC technology that makes them more accurate and durable than other encoders. The encoders can fit into a large temperature range and work in environments ranging from -40 to 125°C. Radial and axial packages are available with a locking hub giving customers better ease of use.  


The AST13A-V kit with nine sleeve bore options

The AST13A-V kit with nine sleeve bore options. Image used courtesy of CUI Devices


An All-in-One Encoder Solution

In addition, different sleeve bores are available with the AST13A-V kit, giving users more flexibility in the design and development process. Nine sleeve bore options range from 9 mm to 15.875 mm, with three different mounting tools.

By increasing the range of shaft sizes that can be supported and reducing lead times based on silicon needs, CUI hopes to increase the usability of motor encoders for their customers.