Small, accurate gas & pressure sensors on show at MWC

26th February 2015
Nat Bowers

From Hall 5, Booth 5D70 at the 2015 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Sensirion will present a multi-pixel gas sensor, plus a barometric pressure sensor, both of which rank among the smallest yet most accurate in their class worldwide. The sensors 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.

'World’s first' multi-pixel gas sensor

According to Sensirion, the 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 now, for the first time, a single sensor is capable of detecting and distinguishing between different gases. Thanks to its very small dimensions of just 2.45x2.45x0.75mm, the 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 in order to measure IAQ, determine the alcohol content of a person’s breath or recognise smells.

Ultimate accuracy from the smallest pressure sensor

Together with the gas sensor, Sensirion is also unveiling a barometric pressure sensor offering unrivalled relative accuracy: it is capable of detecting altitude differences of as little as ±1Pa, equivalent to the height of a single step on a stairway. With this previously unheard-of degree of precision, the pressure sensor opens up a new dimension in indoor navigation. This sensor, too, is exceptionally compact, measuring just 1.4x1.0x0.6mm.

Tiniest humidity and temperature sensor

The SHTW1 sensor, which has already been presented to the public, 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 CMOSenschip itself (1.3x0.7x0.5mm), 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 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, Sensirion.

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