Excellence in every dimension: gas, pressure, humidity and temperature
Leading sensor manufacturer Sensirion is launching 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.
The new gas sensor is the first in the world to be based on multi-pixel technology. This allows the sensor to perceive its surroundings using various receptors that, with the help of intelligent algorithms and state-of-the-art pattern recognition, are able to detect the type and concentration of gases. The flexibility that this provides means that for the first time a single sensor is capable of detecting and distinguishing between different gases.
Thanks to its very small dimensions of just 2.45 × 2.45 × 0.75mm, the Sensirion multi-pixel gas sensor can be integrated anywhere. This will enable mobile devices to sense their surroundings in a way that was never possible before - for example, to measure indoor air quality, determine the alcohol content of a person’s breath or recognise smells.
Together with the gas sensor, Sensirion is also unveiling a new barometric pressure sensor offering unrivalled relative accuracy: it is capable of detecting altitude differences of as little as ±1 Pa, equivalent to the height of a single step on a stairway. With this previously unheard-of degree of precision, the new pressure sensor opens up a new dimension in indoor navigation. This sensor, too, is exceptionally compact, measuring just 1.4 × 1.0 × 0.6mm, so there are no limits to where it can be used.
The SHTW1 sensor is still the only humidity and temperature sensor available that is based on wafer-level chip-scale packaging technology. Thanks to this process, the sensor’s casing is no larger than the CMOSens chip itself (1.3 × 0.7 × 0.5mm), and thus is unbeatably compact. Its uniquely small size and low energy consumption enable it to meet the exacting standards of the consumer electronics industry. The sensor will be available to order on an industrial scale from April 2015 onward.
The tiny size and minimal energy consumption of all Sensirion sensors make them particularly suitable for use in wearables, smartphones, tablets and numerous other IoT applications. 'Because they are so tiny, individual sensors can be positioned exactly where they are needed. For example, to ensure that gas and humidity sensors detect their surroundings, they need to be fitted close to the casing in contact with the ambient air,' explains Andrea Orzati, Vice President Mobile & Consumer Business at Sensirion.
Sensirion’s range of products for measuring environmental parameters currently includes gas, pressure, humidity, and temperature sensors. 'At present we are the only company to offer a complete solution, thanks to our many years of experience in sensor technology and consumer products. This means we are a one-stop shop: we provide support in integrating sensors, we supply drivers and software, we take responsibility for all aspects of algorithm-based signal processing, and can even take charge of the further processing of the data in the cloud,' adds Orzati.