CMOS-based infrared sensing modules for people-detection

October 16, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
IRLYNX and CEA-Leti have announced they have launched a technology-development partnership for a new CMOS-based infrared technology that will allow a new type of smart and connected detectors in buildings and cities.

The strategic partnership with Leti's Silicon Development Division and the Optics and Photonics Division will develop a solid technology platform that aims to allow IRLYNX to provide a solution in the field of human-activity detection and characterisation. These products will be able to count people, distinguish humans, get positions and determine posture. This new, low-cost technology will help IRLYNX bring to the market new sensors targeting various applications in energy saving, safety and security and human/object interactions.

The collaboration is based on the development of specific microelectronic steps above CMOS IC and on the hosting of IRLYNX R&D’s activities inside Leti’s clean-room facilities.

Partially funded through the Easytech program of the IRT Nanoelec research institute, the partnership blends Leti's expertise in advanced materials and photonics technologies developments. IRLYNX is focusing for its part on a specific IC design, a customised optic integration and the “on-die” data processing of such a human-sensing-activity module.

"The collaboration with IRLYNX highlights Leti’s mission to support startup initiatives and emphasizes our expertise in IR imaging devices and technologies," said Bruno Mourey, vice president of Leti’s Optics and Photonics Division. “IRLYNX is a very good match for Leti, because the IRLYNX team has an innovative IC design, clear optic-integration goals and a persuasive business plan.”

IRLYNX aims to deliver first products from this programme in the third quarter of 2015. The company designs and sells advanced human-activity sensing modules. Created in 2012 and based in Grenoble, the company offers interactive-product makers new capabilities to sense, understand and characterise human motion and behaviour in the vicinity of its systems. Based on thermal-vision capability, IRLYNX sees a range of targeted applications includes energy saving, safety, security and assisted living in smart buildings.

The product is an optoelectronic module that includes an infrared reactive matrix combined with optics and embedded processing that provide information on activities like presence, gravity center position, motion direction and the number of people in