Applications Sensor Introduction (LC)

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Applications: sensor

Read about the most exciting application examples of the smart consumer & buildings market:


Environmental MEMS (pressure, humidity, temperature)

Sensitive to our surroundings

The environmental sensors that measure pressure, humidity and temperature enable a variety of functions such as indoor positioning and weather forecasting on a range of products including smartphones and tablets. Environmental monitoring and control is a global issue of our modern world. An efficient, portable and low power-powered system based on MEMS and NEMS technologies have demonstrated this kind of potential. With newly available technologies, an entirely new kind of miniature Pressure, Humidity, Temperature, Chemical and Gas sensors, useful for environmental application, have sprung up utilising a variety of sensing materials and approaches. The science and technology brings to our lives far more comfort and productivity than ever before, but at the same time it has contaminated our living environment. The air, water and soil are polluted with several kinds of pollution emanating from our transport, communication and industrialisation. The quality of the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat have to be monitored against contamination. We need to monitor and control all such kinds of pollutants. Additionally, we need to detect the harmful physical, chemical and biological materials present in the environment for good health and longevity of human life.

Movement MEMS

Recognising a change in direction

MEMS (Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems) technology has become widely popular in movement sensor applications. In the consumer and mobile market you will find MEMS technologies across all important mobile handset operating systems. MEMS accelerometers and gyroscopes enable the cost-effective creation and success of various motion-activated devices. The sensors can add an intuitive man-machine interface to a mobile phone, MP3/MP4 player, PDA, tablet or game controller, recognising gestures – the user’s wrist, arm and hand movements. Another typical MEMS application is for data protection in portable devices. In case of a free fall or other abnormal movement, a MEMS accelerometer can almost instantaneously instruct the system to stop all reading-and-writing hard-disk-drive (HDD) operations, and to park the magnetic head to a safe position. MEMS accelerometers are also commonly integrated as vibration detectors in today‘s electronic home appliances, such as washing machines or dryers, to stabilise unbalanced loads and to protect against excessive wear of parts, before a failure occurs. MEMS gyroscopes, or angular-motion sensors, complement acceleration sensors in man-machine interfaces, making gaming and remote-pointing more exciting. These gyroscopes also counteract digital video or still camera shaking for sharper shots and enhance car navigation applications for dead-reckoning and/or map-matching. MEMS magnetic sensors measure the strength and/or direction of the Earth’s magnetic field and determine headings relative to magnetic North, enabling enhanced electronic compassing in portable consumer applications, including direction finding, map/display orientation, location-based services and pedestrian dead reckoning. Pressure sensors address demanding applications where full-scale and high resolution are required: examples include the barometer feature in hand-helds and ‘flight height’ control in hard disk drives (HDD), where the distance between the disk surface and the drive head is prone to axes of magnetic motion and adverse effects of pressure variation as the size of HDDs gets smaller and the capacity increases.

CMOS, DLP & Pico

10 distinct advantages with DLP

At the heart of every DLP® (Digital Light Processing) projection system is perhaps the world’s most sophisticated light-switch - an optical semiconductor known as the DLP® chip, invented by Dr. Larry Hornbeck of Texas Instruments in 1987. The chip contains a rectangular array of up to 8 million hinge-mounted microscopic mirrors; each of these micro-mirrors measures less than one-fifth the width of a human hair. When a DLP chip is co-ordinated with a digital video or graphic signal, a light source, and a projection lens, its mirrors can reflect a digital image onto any surface. DLP offers 10 distinct advantages. There are five that you can clearly see: Outstanding Readability, Precise Colour, Fastest Digital Video Performance, Full HD 1080p for Data, and 3D in any Popular Signal Format. In addition, there are five important advantages that although not visible offer substantial benefit: Lower Total Cost of Ownership, Hassle-free Lamp-free, Designed for Difficult Environments, Wide Selection of models and DLP projectors are based upon DLP Cinema technology. 


Raising the level of performance

Micro-machined acoustic devices, or MEMS microphones, raise the performance of voice-input applications. In addition to the size, robustness and energy-economy advantages over traditional condenser microphones, MEMS microphones enable dramatic advancements in sound quality. The extended frequency response and superior acoustic parameters facilitate pleasant voice conversations and audio capturing in the most noisy and harsh conditions. Additional features such as noise suppression and directional voice pick-up can be realised by integrating multiple MEMS microphones in an array.

Light sensors

Delivering more than meets the eye

A simple light sensor may be part of a security or safety device, such as a burglar alarm or garage door opener. The Light Sensor products include a broad portfolio of digital Ambient Light, Digital Colour, Proximity Detection, Light-to-Digital (LTD), Light-to-Voltage (LTV) and Light-to-Frequency (LTF) Sensors. These are in addition to Linear Sensor Arrays for intelligent light sensing for a broad range of applications including display management for display-based products (cell phones, TVs, tablets, computer monitors, etc.), medical diagnostic equipment, industrial processes and controls, LED solid state lighting, consumer/commercial printer and health/fitness products. Many modern electronics, such as computers, wireless phones, and televisions, use ambient light sensors to automatically control the brightness of a screen, especially in low-light or high-light situations. They can detect how much light is in a room and raise or lower the brightness to a more comfortable level for the user. Light sensors also may be used to automatically turn on lights inside or outside a home or business at dark.