Digital Temperature Sensors vs. NTC Thermistors


From Thermometrics, Inc., learn more about the features, benefits and common applications of Digital Temperature Sensors versus NTC Thermistors.


NTC Thermistors – NTC stands for Negative Temperature Coefficient, meaning they reduce in impedance as temperature increases resulting in an analog voltage which varies with temperature.

Digital Temperature Sensors – Provide a digital output to transfer the temperature data by communicating with a microcontroller or processor.


Digital Temperature Sensors

NTC Thermistors

Features & Benefits

Features & Benefits

Digital interface to microcontroller:

 •  Typically 1-2 wire communication interface

 •  Buss can be shared with other sensors

Most are single output format:

 •  Normally unsigned value

 •  Requires processing to accommodate negative portion of range (Offset)

 •  Digital result needs conversion to °F/°C

Most are low power, making them suitable for battery applications

Operating Temperature Range: -55°C to 150°C typically

Flexible form factor allows sensor to be placed where needed

Capable of withstanding harsh environments

Very wide operating temperature range with numerous impedance options:

 •  Some ranges as low as -196°C and up to 300°C

 •  Some as high as 300°C

 •  Custom ranges available

Repeatable and accurate

Easy to process analog signal

 •  A/D conversion with simple voltage divider

 •  Calculation using curve coefficients

 •  Lookup table

Can be applied within control circuit for real-time temperature compensation




Very localized measurement with limited capability for remote sensing

 •  May require separate board to place at optimum location for sensor

Requires careful placement and PCB layout so accuracy not influenced by other devices nearby or power through PCB

Requires processor to interpret signal

Not recommended for harsh environments

 •  Small plastic housing will not withstand harsh environments



•  Thermostats

•  Indoor Air Quality

•  External Temperature Monitor


 •  Transmission Fluid Temperature

 •  HVAC – Evaporator Air Temperature

 •  Electric Vehicle – Battery Temperature


 • Esophageal Temperature

 •  Catheters

 •  Thermometers

Electrical - Buss Bar Temperature

Control - Temperature Compensation