The world’s first gas sensor small enough for any smartphone beats Apple’s new MEMS smartphone sensors at the MEMS Executive Congress 2015.
Cross-section of micro-hotplate
The sensor, manufactured by Cambridge CMOS Sensors Ltd. (U.K.), comprises 1-millimeter-square, MEMS-CMOS die that are inexpensive enough for mass appeal. Its hotplate-based gas sensors can scale to smaller sizes along with the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) using the top metal oxide. Once the hotplate is heated, different gases can be sensed.
The CMOS sensors can be configured to sense volatile organic compounds (VOC) such as carbon monoxide from cheap heaters and formaldehyde in cheap furniture. The MEMS-CMOS design wins with the K-Phone and K-Free white-box smartphone that will be branded by Chinese carriers.
The sensors can also be used as a breathalyzer as drunk driving is a jail-sentence offense in China.