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Sensing Design Challenge 2013

ti pix What Would You Build?
Uncover the possibilities with the LDC1000 from Texas Instruments
ti pix Semi-Finalists: Submit your design prototype for a chance to win $3,000 and an All-Access Pass to the new EE Live!

With the introduction of the LDC1000, the world's first inductance-to-digital converter IC from Texas Instruments, inductive sensing has become more affordable, more versatile, and more accessible. So we're asking, with this new technology, what new capabilities do you foresee? What would you build?

In partnership with Texas Instruments, we have thrown down the gauntlet to challenge you to come up with the most creative, useful, and interesting application ideas. Round 1 turned out some great ideas and now we are looking forward to seeing those ideas come to life!

Our Semi-Finalists will each be sent an Inductive Sensing Demo Kit to help them do just that-They then have until January 10th 2014 to submit their prototype details by way of a video demonstration and to be in the running to win $3000 and an All-Access Pass to EE Live! (a $2000 dollar value) as well as have their idea featured on EDN!

ti pix
About the LDC1000
Inductive sensing is a contactless, magnet-free sensing technology that can measure the position, motion, or composition of a metal or conductive target as well as detect the compression, extension, or twist of a spring. The LDC1000 enables inductive sensing, by utilizing coils and springs as inductive sensors to deliver better performance, better reliability, and greater flexibility than existing sensing solutions-at lower system cost and power.
Watch the inductive sensing overview video
Download the datasheet
Learn more about inductive sensing

Round 2 open now!-All submissions due January 10, 2014

All Semi-Finalists will be notified by November 18th and have their Inductive Sensing Demo Kits shipped by November 22, 2013, and be invited to submit prototype details for a chance at $3,000 and a EE Live! All-Access Pass. Submissions must illustrate a working prototype of their original idea via a 1- to 2-minute video, additional supporting text describing the build process, and an optional block diagram showing the elements used in the build. Judging will occur January 13-January 24, 2014, and will be based on innovation, usefulness, and end-product viability. Winners will be notified by January 27, 2014. Judges' decisions are final.

20 Finalists will be chosen to have their idea and prototype demo featured on EDN and the top 3 Finalists will receive:

First Place: US $3,000 and EE Live! All-Access Pass ($2,000 value)

Second Place: US $1,500 and EE Live! All-Access Pass ($2,000 value)

Third Place: US $500 and EE Live! All-Access Pass ($2,000 value)

Contest Rules

Texas Instruments ("TI") is pleased to sponsor the Sensing Design Challenge based upon the rules set forth below ("Rules"). To be eligible to compete, each contestant must agree to read and abide by these Rules.*


How to Enter

Round 1

Round 1 closed as of October 31, 2013. Notifications to Semi Finalists will go out by November 18 and kits will ship on November 22.

Round 2

All Semi-Finalists will be notified via email by November 18 and Inductive Sensing Demo Kits will be shipped by November 22. The Semi-Finalists will be directed to submit a 1- to 2-minute video demonstrating their working prototype, a block diagram illustrating the build process, and supporting text describing what differs from the original idea and notes about the development process and optional block diagram. All submissions need to be submitted by January 10, 2014. Only one submission per Semi-Finalist. Resubmissions or files added at a later date will not be considered. Judging will occur between January 13 and January 24, 2014, and will be judged by the following criteria.

Innovation: How well the submission shows a new or novel application of sensing that can be enabled using the inductance-to-digital converter IC, or how an application or device that uses today's sensing technology can be improved upon.

Usefulness: This criterion factors in how big the problem is that the idea solves, and/or how applicable the submission idea is across multiple devices or applications.

End Product Viability: This factors in how easy the idea is to realize and implement, the available market for such a solution and the potential demand.


To be considered for prizes, Contestants must
  • Be 18 years of age
  • Be a member of EDN. To register click here
  • Reside in the United States (excluding Puerto Rico) or Canada (excluding Quebec)
To be considered for prizes, Submissions must
  • Be submitted in English
  • Be connected to the description of the contest
  • For Round 2, all contestants must have received and employed the Inductive Sensing Demo Kit within their design

In addition to the above, to be considered for prizes for Round 2, Contestants must have been notified of their succession to Round 2 and all contestants must have received and employed the Inductive Sensing Demo Kit within their design. Please refer to the Rules & Regulations for further clarification

Prize Detail

Round 1 prizes

Participation prizes: The first 300 eligible entries will each receive a $10 Amazon gift card via email.

Semi-Finalist prizes: Semi-Finalists will each receive the Inductive Sensing Demo Kit ($45 retail value) from Texas Instruments via mail using the street address provided when submitting the winning entry (sorry, no PO boxes). The Inductive Sensing Demo Kit includes one LDC1000 evaluation board; a demo with three example modes of operation-angular, lateral, and axial position sensing; and link to download software.

Round 2 prizes:

Submission featured on EDN Design Ideas (20 winners). Winners to be notified via email. The submissions will be featured by March 31, 2014.

EE Live! All-Access Pass (for first- second-, and third-place winners-$2,000 in value). Winners will receive notification via email with a link to register for EE Live!. The link will provide the finalist with a coupon code that waives the cost of the pass. Only good for one All-Access Pass to EE Live!.

The top 3 finalists will receive these respective cash prizes

  • First place: US $3,000 (one winner) to be awarded by Texas Instruments
  • Second Place: US $1,500 (one winner) to be awarded by Texas Instruments
  • Third place: US $500 (one winner) to be awarded by Texas Instruments


  1. What are the basic requirements for submission of entries?

    In order to be considered for prizes in Round 1, you must meet contestant eligibility criteria and submit an idea that incorporates the TI inductive sensing product that is no more than 250 words in length.

  2. Where do I submit entries?

    Please submit here.

  3. How many times can I enter?

    Only one entry will be permitted per contestant.

  4. Can I resubmit my entry or make additions to it?

    No resubmissions will be considered nor can additional information be sent after initial submission in either Round 1 or 2. So make sure your submission is complete and intact when you submit.

  5. Can people outside of the US or Canada participate in the contest?

    Eligibility for prizes is limited to those residing in the US or Canada (excluding Puerto Rico and Quebec) and who are at least 18 years of age.

  6. When will I receive an acknowledgement after submitting my project idea?

    You will receive an email acknowledgement within 24 hours of submitting an entry for Round 1 and Round 2 (if eligible).

  7. When will winners be announced?

    Round 1 winners will be notified by November 18. A list of Semi-Finalists will be available upon request by November 22. Please contact Alexis Braren (Contests@edn.com) Subject Line: Round 1 Winners for Sensing Design Challenge in order to obtain this list.

    Round 2 winners will be announced at DesignCon 2014. A list of the 20 finalists and first-, second-, and third-place winners will be available upon request by February 1. Please contact Alexis Braren (Contests@edn.com) Subject Line: Round 2 Winners for Sensing Design Challenge in order to obtain this list.

  8. Is a video required of the final project design?

    Yes, 1 to 2 minutes in length.

  9. In which format shall we submit additional Round 2 documents?

    All round two files must be hosted and a link provided. The video must be hosted non-publically ( e.g. private youtube video link shared with edncontests@gmail.com ) and the block diagrams are preferred to be PDF format.

Any other questions? Contact Alexis Braren at Contests@edn.com with the subject line TI Design Challenge Inquiry

About the Judges

Texas Instruments Judges

David Zakharian
Product Marketing, Sensor Signal Path

David Zakharian is a product marketing engineer with TI's Sensor Signal Path product line. In this role he is responsible for strategy and business development of the Inductive Sensing products portfolio. David has 12 years of experience in the semiconductor industry in various roles. He holds a Bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Wayne State University.

Preeti Rajendran
Strategic Marketing, Sensor Signal Path

Preeti Rajendran is a marketing engineer with TI's Sensor Signal Path product line. In this role, she manages a portfolio of signal chain building block products as well as drives business development and product definition for new and upcoming products. Previously, she was with TI's Precision Analog central marketing team, supporting business development for the precision amplifier portfolio, and was based out of Tucson, Ariz. Most recently, Preeti completed her Masters in electrical engineering from Purdue University. Aside from the electronics industry, she is passionate about music, teaching, poetry, fictional movies, and books.

Scott D. Kulchycki, PhD
Marketing Manager, Sensor Signal Path

Scott D. Kulchycki is the marketing manager for TI's Sensor Signal Path product line. In this role, Scott is responsible for developing market strategies and overseeing business development and product definition for signal path products, including the inductance-to-digital converters. He was previously marketing manager for the company's Signal Path Solutions product line. He began his career in 2006 as an analog-to-digital converter (ADC) designer with National Semiconductor. Scott received his PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford University, where he focused on high-speed ADC design.

EDN Judges

Steve Taranovich

Steve Taranovich is a senior technical editor at EDN with 40 years of experience in the electronics industry. Steve received his MSEE from Polytechnic University, Brooklyn, New York, and his BEEE from New York University, Bronx, New York. He is also chairman of the Educational Activities Committee for IEEE Long Island. His expertise is in analog with a diverse embedded processing education as it relates to analog design from his years at Burr-Brown and Texas Instruments. Steve was a circuit design engineer for his first 16 years in electronics. He then served as one of the first field application engineers with Burr-Brown Corp and also became one of their first global account managers, traveling to Europe, India and China.

Michael Dunn

Michael Dunn has been messing with electronics almost as long as he's been walking, and got his first scope around age 15. Things have gone downhill since then. The scopes now vie with wine racks, harpsichords, calculators, and 19th century pianos for space. Over the years, he's designed for the automotive, medical, industrial, communications, and consumer industries, as both freelancer and employee, working with analog, digital, micros, and software. Since 2000, he's run the TekScopes Yahoogroup, now with over 5,000 members.

Caleb Kraft

Caleb Kraft is chief community editor on EE Times, where he covers EE life and open-source for EE Times' Designlines. Caleb has been visiting garages and basements around the globe either literally or via Internet to explore what engineers are doing in in their free time. An enthusiastic tinkerer, Caleb has a tendency to play with high voltage and or dangerous temperatures when given the time.