At the 2015 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, the leading sensor manufacturer Sensirion will present a new multi-pixel gas sensor, plus a new barometric pressure sensor. Both new sensors, which rank among the smallest yet most accurate in their class worldwide, are capable of measuring indoor air quality (IAQ), the gases in a person’s breath, and barometric air pressure, as required for indoor navigation applications. The new sensors complement Sensirion’s existing product offering for wearables, smartphones, tablets, and the Internet of Things (IoT), and confirm the company’s status as the only sensor manufacturer to offer a complete solution all the way from sensor to cloud. With its trusted humidity and temperature sensors already established on the market, Sensirion is now expanding its range of environmental sensors to include gas and pressure sensors.
Sensirion presents the smallest and most accurate Gas and Pressure Sensors – [Link]
by Susan Nordyk @ edn.com:
The latest addition to STMicroelectronics’ portfolio of environmental sensors, the UVIS25 provides a direct digital output of UVI (ultraviolet index)—the international measurement of the strength of ultraviolet radiation, primarily from the sun, at a given place and time. Aimed at wearable devices, smart-phone, and tablet applications, the UVIS25 is sensitive to UV waves in the 200-nm to 400-nm range. This range covers the UV-A (315-nm to 400-nm) and UV-B (280-nm to 315-nm) wavelengths, which are of greatest concern to human health.
The device furnishes more than just sensing, calculating the UVI internally and eliminating the need for external processing algorithms or calibration on the customer’s manufacturing line. Key specifications include a UVI output range of 0 to 15 with a resolution of just 1/16, SPI and I2C interfaces, a supply voltage range of 1.7 V to 3.6 V, and the ability to provide updated UVI values as often as every second.
UVIS25 – Wearable sensor measures UV index - [Link]
by Francesco Truzzi :
Some time ago I came across a new chip from TI, the HDC1000. It’s a temperature and humidity sensor with I2C interface and requires little to no additional components. It comes in an 8BGA package: we can all agree it’s pretty small.
Some of the peculiar characteristics of this chip are that it has a DRDYn pin which goes low any time there is a new reading from the chip (so you can precisely time your requests) and that the sensor is located on the bottom of the IC, so that it’s not exposed to dust and other agents that may false the readings. Also, it has an integrated heater that can remove humidity from the sensor.
So I developed a very small breakout board for this chip as well as an Arduino library (yay, my first one! raspberryPi and nodemcu might come next).
HDC1000 temperature and humidity sensor breakout, with Arduino library! - [Link]
The VL6180X is the latest product based on ST’s patented FlightSenseTMtechnology. This is a ground-breaking technology allowing absolute distance to be measured independent of target reflectance. Instead of estimating the distance by measuring the amount of light reflected back from the object (which is significantly influenced by color and surface), the VL6180X precisely measures the time the light takes to travel to the nearest object and reflect back to the sensor (Time-of-Flight).
Combining an IR emitter, a range sensor and an ambient light sensor in a three-in-one ready-to-use reflowable package, the VL6180X is easy to integrate and saves the end-product maker long and costly optical and mechanical design optimizations.
VL6180X – Proximity sensor, gesture and ambient light sensing (ALS) module - [Link]
The OPT3001 is a sensor that measures the intensity of visible light. The spectral response of the sensor tightly matches the photopic response of the human eye and includes significant infrared rejection.
The OPT3001 is a single-chip lux meter, measuring the intensity of light as visible by the human eye. The precision spectral response and strong IR rejection of the device enables the OPT3001 to accurately meter the intensity of light as seen by the human eye regardless of light source. The strong IR rejection also aids in maintaining high accuracy when industrial design calls for mounting the sensor under dark glass for aesthetics. The OPT3001 is designed for systems that create light-based experiences for humans, and an ideal preferred replacement for photodiodes, photoresistors, or other ambient light sensors with less human eye matching and IR rejection.
OPT3001 – Ambient Light Sensor - [Link]
Silicon Labs introduced a new family of high-precision temperature sensors offering industry-leading power efficiency. Silicon Labs’ ultra-low-power Si705x temperature sensors consume only 195 nA (typical average current) when sampled once per second, which minimizes self-heating and enables multi-year coin cell battery operation. Unlike traditional digital temperature sensors, the Si705x devices maintain their accuracy across the full operating temperature and voltage ranges and offer four accuracy levels up to +/-0.3 °C. The sensors are ideal for HVAC, white goods, computer equipment, asset tracking, cold chain storage, industrial control and medical equipment. AEC-Q100-qualified versions are also available for automotive applications.
Traditional approaches to temperature sensing that use thermistors or embedded MCU temperature sensors suffer from poor accuracy and higher power consumption. Although improved accuracy can be achieved through end-of-line calibration, this technique presents additional manufacturing costs and challenges while accuracy is still susceptible to variations in power supply voltage. In contrast, the Si705x sensors’ patented signal processing technology provides stable temperature accuracy over the entire operating voltage and temperature ranges without the need for costly end-of-line production calibration. In addition, the integrated low-power analog design delivers an optimal price/performance solution with up to 35 times better power efficiency than competing temperature sensor products.
New Vishay Intertechnology IHLP® Inductors in 2020 Case Size Offer High-Temperature Operation to +155 °C - [Link]
The HDC1008 is a digital humidity sensor with integrated temperature sensor that provides excellent measurement accuracy at very low power. The device measures humidity based on a novel capacitive sensor. The humidity and temperature sensors are factory calibrated. The innovative WLCSP (Wafer Level Chip Scale Package) simplifies board design with the use of an ultra-compact package. The sensing element of the HDC1008 is placed on the bottom part of the device, which makes the HDC1008 more robust against dirt, dust, and other environmental contaminants. The HDC1008 is functional within the full –40°C to +125°C
HDC1008 – Integrated Low Power Digital Humidity Sensor with Integrated Temperature Sensor - [Link]
by Susan Nordyk @ edn.com:
Based on 1.1-µm pixel technology, the AR1335 CMOS image sensor from ON Semiconductor provides 18% better sensitivity than previous-generation devices, along with increased quantum efficiency and linear well capacity to enable near-digital still-camera quality and low-light imaging on smart-phone cameras. The sensor’s pixel and color filter processing increase sensitivity, allowing more light to be captured to improve image quality, especially in low light.
The AR1335 offers crisp 13-Mpixel resolution with high-quality zoom and sharp reproduction of scene details. Professional video quality is supported through 4K ultra-high definition and cinema formats at 30 fps and full HD 1080P at 60 fps. On-chip camera functions include windowing, mirroring, column and row skip modes, and snapshot mode. In addition, a 32° chief ray angle makes the sensor suitable for low z-height applications.
The AR1335 is now in mass production in die format. It has been designed into several smart phone models, with availability in leading phones expected by the second quarter of 2015.
Sensor enables low-light imaging for smart-phone cameras - [Link]
Vishay Intertechnology is broadening its optoelectronics portfolio with the introduction of two new automotive-grade high-speed silicon PIN photodiodes in top-view, surface-mount packages measuring 5 mm by 4 mm by 0.9 mm. Offering a large sensitive area of 7.5 mm2, the Vishay Semiconductors VEMD5010X01 and VEMD5110X01 provide high radiant sensitivity with a reverse light current of 48 µA and a very low dark current of 2 nA for automotive, industrial, and medical applications.
The AEC-Q101-qualified devices are manufactured using Vishay’s new foil assisted mold (FAM) technology. The photodiodes’ leadframe, bond wire, and connection pads are molded in a black epoxy, while a free cavity above the radiant sensitive area allows light to enter the package for signal generation. This design enables a smaller overall package size with a lower height profile, while maintaining a large radiant sensitive area. In addition, thermal stress on the bond is reduced for increased robustness and reliability.
Vishay Intertechnology Automotive-Grade PIN Photodiodes Deliver 7.5 mm² Sensitive Area in Low-Profile Packages - [Link]
MEMS manufacturer Kionix Inc recently announced the introduction of their thinnest full-functional tri-axis accelerometers: the KX112 (2.0 x 2.0 x 0.6 mm) and the KXCJB (3.0 x 3.0 x 0.45 mm). At 0.45 mm thick the KXCJB is half the thickness of its predecessor.
The size of the KX112 makes it suitable for integration into compact devices for wearable and health/medical applications. A wide range of functionality is built into the small outline with algorithms to detect motion for power management, free-fall detect for device protection or warranty monitoring, an orientation engine for portrait/landscape detection and tap/double-tap for user interface functionality. It also incorporates Kionix’s FlexSet performance optimizing technology for control of accelerometer power usage and noise value trade-off. It features a large 2048-byte FIFO/LIFO buffer which allows the rest of the system to remain in low power mode while the KX112 stores sensor measurements. The accelerometer can supply output data with 8 or 16-bit resolution and with a user selectable range of ± 2g, 4g or 8g.
Tri-axis Accelerometers get Thinner - [Link]