OMRON Develops the World's First* 16x16 Element MEMS Non-Contact Thermal Sensor for Use in Human Presence Sensors Utilizing

  OMRON Develops the World's First* 16x16 Element MEMS Non-Contact Thermal
  Sensor for Use in Human Presence Sensors Utilizing Wafer-Level Vacuum
  Packaging Technology

Business Wire

TOKYO -- May 29, 2013

OMRON Corporation (TOKYO:6645)(ADR:OMRNY) today announced that they have
finished development work on the world's first infrared sensor manufactured
with wafer-level vacuum packaging technology to create a 16x16 element MEMS
non-contact infrared thermal sensor capable of highly precise 90-degree area
detection. Shipping of test samples will commence in October 2013.

Omron's new vacuum-sealed MEMS non-contact thermal sensor, the first of its
kind in the world. (Phot ...

Omron's new vacuum-sealed MEMS non-contact thermal sensor, the first of its
kind in the world. (Photo: Business Wire)

In recent years the demand for human presence sensors has been growing in
tandem with the demand for energy-efficient "smart home" and "smart office"
environments in which lighting, heating, etc. is automatically controlled
according to where people are positioned.
Since conventional pyroelectric human presence sensors (motion sensors) are
only able to detect people when they are in motion, they are not as suitable
for detecting the number of people in a certain space or their relative
positions as Omron's new thermal sensor.

MEMS non-contact thermal sensors measure temperature by converting infrared
energy radiated from target objects into heat with MEMS thermopiles and then
measuring the thermoelectromotive force resulting from temperature differences
that occur across the contact points of two different types of metal. However,
up till now it has not been possible to create large temperature differences
across the metal contact points because much of the heat generated by the
thermopiles dissipates into the surrounding air, meaning that the resulting
thermoelectromotive force is reduced thereby limiting sensitivity. Omron has
solved this heat dissipation problem by vacuum sealing the thermopiles inside
the chip – the first time this has been achieved. The reduction in heat
dissipation leads to a greater temperature difference across the metal
contacts thereby increasing sensitivity.
Omron will now also work on commercializing stand-alone human presence sensor
modules by combining non-contact thermal sensors with algorithms that can
accurately distinguish the number of people and their positions within a
detected space.

Model versions of Omron's new human presence sensors will be displayed at the
"Nanomicro Biz" Exhibition at Tokyo Big Sight on July 3, 4, and 5.

The development of this new sensor was the result of research carried out in
collaboration with Japan's New Energy and Industrial Technology Development
Organization.

* As of May 29, 2013, according to Omron's own research on MEMS non-contact
thermal sensors.

Features
- The ability to detect motionless people thanks to the use of
thermopile-based sensors, unlike pyroelectric sensors that can only detect
people when they are moving.

- Improved accuracy of detection of people's positions within the target space
with thermal sensing possible over a two-dimensional 256 pixel (16x16 element)
area.

- Wide 90-degree field of view means that one sensor can be used to cover a
space that would require four 45-degree sensors to cover.

- High-speed 4fps (4 frame per second) detection makes it possible to detect
people moving at 1m/s.


Specifications/Performance
Number of elements                   16x16
Detectable target temperature range   5-50 degrees Celsius
Field of view                         90 degrees minimum
Power supply voltage                  DC2.7 to 5.5V
Data transmission                     SPI
Temperature resolution (NETD)         0.15 degrees Celsius
External dimensions                  W 20mm×L 37mm×H 10.7mm
                                      

Release date: October 2013 (test samples)

Sales target: 2 billion JPY in fiscal 2015

How non-contact thermal sensors work

Thermal sensors utilize the Seebeck effect in which thermoelectric force is
generated due to the temperature difference at the contact points between two
different kinds of metal. Thermopiles are created by serially connecting
thermocouples consisting of N+ poly Si, P+ poly Si, and Al. By creating hot
junctions on highly heat-resistant dielectric membranes, and cold junctions on
highly heat-conductive silicon, it is possible to achieve high-energy
conversion efficiency. Sealing thermopiles in a vacuum prevents the heat they
create from dissipating into the air thereby increasing sensitivity. For a
diagram explaining the new vacuum-sealed design click here:
http://www.omron.com/media/press/2013/05/img/e0529_b.jpg

About OMRON
Headquartered in Kyoto, Japan, OMRON Corporation is a global leader in the
field of automation. Established in 1933, Omron has more than 35,000 employees
in over 35 countries working to provide products and services to customers in
a variety of fields including industrial automation, electronic components,
social systems, healthcare, and the environment. The company has regional head
offices in Singapore (Asia Pacific), Beijing (Greater China), Amsterdam
(Europe, Africa, and the Middle East), Chicago (the Americas), Gurgaon
(India), and Sao Paulo (Brazil).
For more information, visit OMRON's website at http://www.omron.com/

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Contact:

Omron Corporation
Tomoya Yamanaka, +81-7-7588-9200
Micro Devices HQ
tomoya_yamanaka@omron.co.jp
 
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