Sensirion reveals multi-pixel gas sensor

February 26, 2015 // By Peter Clarke
Sensor vendor Sensirion AG is set to disclose its multi-pixel gas sensor at the 2015 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

The company announced it had developed a multi-gas sensor that it was planning to sell to smartphone makers back in November 2013 ( Sensirion preps multi-gas sensor 'nose' for smartphones ). The company will also show a barometric pressure sensor suitable for use for indoor navigation applications.

Sensirion (Staefa, Switzerland) has focused on humidity and temperature sensors but is now expanding its range of environmental sensors to include gas and pressure sensors.

The gas sensor is the first in the world to be based on multiple gas-detecting pixels. This allows the sensor to perceive its surroundings using various receptors that using pattern recognition is able to interpret different concentrations on different sensors in terms of type and concentration of a wide range of gases. The sensor is housed in a package measuring 2.45 by 2.45 by 0.75 mm.

With suitably designed and calibrated sensors it is possible to detect numerous different gases at various concentrations including CO, NO X, NH 3, CO 2, water vapour, ozone and volatile organic compounds (VOC).

This will enable mobile devices to sense their surroundings in a way that was never possible before, Sensirion asserts, for example in order to measure indoor air quality, determine the alcohol content of a person’s breath, or recognise smells.

Together with the gas sensor, Sensirion is also unveiling a barometric pressure sensor capable of detecting altitude differences of as little as ±1 Pa, equivalent to the height of a single step on a stairway. This sensor measures 1.4 by 1.0 by 0.6 mm.

"We provide support in integrating sensors, we supply drivers and software, we take responsibility for all aspects of algorithm-based signal processing, and can even take charge of the further processing of the data in the cloud," said Andrea Orzati, vice president of mobile and consumer business at Sensirion, in a statement.