ams builds gas/IR sensing portfolio with CCMOSS acquisition

June 17, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
Analogue, mixed-signal and sensor semiconductor maker ams (Premstaetten, Austria) is to buy Cambridge CMOS Sensors Ltd (CCMOSS) (Cambridge UK), specialist in micro hotplate structures for gas sensing and infrared applications; ams says that the deal positions it as [a] ‘world leader in gas and infrared sensing for automotive, industrial, medical, and consumer applications.’

CCMOSS’ micro hotplates are MEMS structures that are used in gas sensors for volume applications in the automotive, industrial, medical, and consumer markets. This is now added to ams’ prior technology in MOX gas sensing materials to detect gases such as CO, NOx, and VOCs. CCMOSS manufactures these MEMS structures on CMOS wafers allowing the creation of complete monolithically integrated CMOS sensor ICs. This makes CCMOSS’ solutions highly cost-efficient, besides offering other significant advantages over competing technologies, for example in low power consumption, small footprint and the ability to integrate additional sensor modalities such as relative humidity, temperature, and pressure.


CCMOSS also brings a portfolio of IR technology comprising high performance IR radiation sources and detectors for sensor applications. ams sees this as complementary to its spectral sensing strategy for next generation optical sensor technologies,. CMOSS’ IR sensing is based on the same monolithic CMOS structures as for gas sensing, enabling miniaturized implementations and efficient integration with other on-chip functions. Applications include CO 2 gas sensing and human presence detection and will extend into spectroscopic identification of organic materials.


Founded in 2008 as a spin-off from Cambridge University, with the start of technology development dating back to 1994 in collaboration with the University of Warwick, CCMOSS has built expertise in micro hotplate design and manufacturing for gas and infrared sensing over more than 20 years. ams’ statement characterises CCMOSS as ‘currently [having] product revenues on a small scale but is not yet profitable.’