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IR sensor firm targets smartphone space

Posted: 02 Jan 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Pyreos? Siemens? smartphone? tablet? IR sensor?

Pyreos Ltd, a maker of infrared sensors (IR) that spun out of Siemens in 2007, has raised $4 million geared for the smartphone and tablet market. The round was led by Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH, Seraphom Capital, Siemens Technology Accelerator and the Scottish Investment Bank.

The company said its low-power IR technology, when applied to gesture and proximity detection, consumes about one-thousandth that of competing technologies. Pyreos' passive IR technology is being used in industrial gas and flame markets and for handheld spectroscopy in the dairy, winery and lubricant industries.

The Pyreos combined gesture and proximity sensor uses microwatts of power that allows designers of portable consumer electronics to create "always on" and "wake up on motion" gesture recognition equipment. Pyreos plans to launch two products; one that recognizes proximity and gestures at 20cm range and another that performs the same combined function at one meter.

Pyreos makes use of sputtered thin films of lead zirconate titanate (PZT) laid down in a crystalline orientation (111) that provides a spontaneous permanent polarization and a Curie point above 500°C. The IR sensors are manufactured on a silicon membrane MEMS device as uncooled IR sensors and sensor arrays. The peak wavelength absorption is tunable so the sensors can operate from terahertz through IR, visible and even UV.

The applications are similarly varied. Besides consumers electronics, they range from spectroscopic materials analysis, through oil, gas and flame sensing, medical applications such as diabetes monitoring and breath analysis for early illness detection.

- Peter Clarke
??EE Times Europe

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