Cambridge CMOS preps NOx sensors

Cambridge CMOS preps NOx sensors

Business news |
By Peter Clarke

In 2015 the company rolled out both analog and digital versions of gas sensor based on its micro-hot plate technology applied to detecting ethanol (alcohol), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and carbon monoxide and dioxide (see Cambridge adds MCU to gas sensor for mobiles and Cambridge startup launches gas sensor for mobiles).

The company now plans to use the same technology platform to produce devices sensitive to nitrous oxide and suitable for outdoor air quality measurement, Jess Brown, sales and marketing director, told eeNews Europe, on the fringes of the MEMS & Sensors Technical Congress in Munich, Germany.

Jess Brown of Cambridge CMOS Sensors

Brown said that the company’s initial products, aimed at indoor air quality, had been well received by smartphone companies. “We are engaged with all of the tier-one OEMs in smartphones,” he said.

The company’s next products will be based on the same platform but with a different coating on the hot plate to provide sensitivity to nitrous oxide, which is itself a pre-cursor to nitric oxide, Nitrous oxide, produced as by product of road traffic and from burning other fossil fuels, is a leading atmospheric pollutant and an indicator of the presence of other types atmospheric pollution.

Brown said that Cambridge CMOS Sensors saw opportunities for monitoring the air quality in smart-city and smart-building initiatives in consumer and industrial applications.

At present Cambridge CMOS Sensors use XFab as foundry for its micro-hot plate MEMS and for the digital version add a bought-in bare die 8-bit 8051 microcontroller from Silicon Labs. The hot-plate uses of miniature tungsten heaters within a conventional CMOS process and can heat up to 500 degrees C within 10ms. Compared with traditional metal oxide gas sensors power consumption can be cut by 95 percent and the miniaturization allows fast cycle times and increased sensitivity to a target gas.

That same platform will be used for the NOx sensors Brown said although adding that in time the company may chose to design its own SoC. Further out Brown said the company is contemplating a multi-gas sensor based on multiple hot plates within a single die.

Brown declined to say how soon the NOx sensors would be ready for sampling saying that the devices are still subject to internal engineering tests.

Related links and articles:

News articles:

16 analog, MEMS and sensor startups to follow in 2016

Cambridge adds MCU to gas sensor for mobiles

Cambridge startup launches gas sensor for mobiles

Swann to chair Cambridge CMOS Sensors

If you enjoyed this article, you will like the following ones: don't miss them by subscribing to :    eeNews on Google News


Linked Articles