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A look at the sensor design parade at the CES 2022 floor

Sensors have a special place on the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) floor, and this year’s show was no exception. So, Planet Analog highlights some of the prominent sensing devices presented at the CES 2022.

  1. The first mass-produced MEMS LiDAR

RoboSense, which claims to have won 10% of the global automotive market for pre-installed LiDARs, unveiled the RS-LiDAR M1 (M1) at the CES 2022 floor. The Chinese company claims that it’s the world’s first mass-produced automotive-grade MEMS LiDAR.

M1 marks the mass-produced delivery of front-loading solid-state LiDARs for automotive designs. Source: RoboSense

M1 features the gaze capability, which dynamically switches between far-field and near-field perceptions. That, in turn, levels up the performance of smart driving systems in different scenes. RoboSense boasts design relationships with automotive companies using its LiDARs around the world, including GAC Aion, WM Motor, ZEEKR, Lotus Cars, and Inceptio Technology.

  1. Depth sensor for smartphones

OQmented, the German maker of ultra-compact 3D depth-sensing cameras, showcased a solution that converts smartphones with regular RGB cameras into smartphones with 3D LiDAR cameras. It minimizes hardware and artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms for depth reconstruction to ensure cost efficiency as well as compactness of the device.

Unlike conventional low-resolution infrared dot projectors, LiDAR camera projects dynamically changing infrared patterns by applying the patented Lissajous laser scanning technology. Source: OQmented

The 3D sensing solution applies a biaxial MEMS laser scanner to overcome the typical depth range and resolution limitations of standard 3D LiDAR cameras with stationary IR dot projectors. Besides smartphones, the LiDAR camera can be utilized in use cases such as AR/MR/VR context, gesture recognition, and people counting.

  1. A forest’s digital nose

Bosch’s gas sensing technology, incorporated into Dryad’s Silvanet Wildfire Sensor, helps detect forest fires early on. These gas sensors, attached to trees, continuously monitor the local microclimate to detect incipient fires; they wirelessly notify the local authorities long before camera- or satellite-based systems can. Besides protecting against devastation by fire, they can also reduce global carbon emissions from forest fires.

Using AI and connectivity, gas sensors can save lives, homes, and tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere. Source: Dryad

  1. Accurate indoor quality

Another notable gas sensing device at the CES 2022 was Infineon’s XENSIV CO2 sensor; it’s based on photoacoustic spectroscopy (PAS) technology. One of the first applications employing this sensing design is a portable CO2 sensor co2go produced by the Munich-based technology company eesy-innovation in partnership with Infineon. The sensor can be linked to a smartphone or laptop.

The gas sensor will be available in stores at the end of January 2022. Source: Infineon

In this gas sensor—measuring a quarter of the size of conventional CO2 non-dispersive infrared (NDIR) sensors—a microcontroller directly converts the CO2 measurement into a ppm value, which is available via three interfaces: the serial I²C, UART, and PWM. Popular use cases include ventilation, air conditioning systems, portable room air monitoring devices, and smart speakers.

  1. Six-axis motion sensors

Among TDK’s sensors showcased at CES 2022 were SmartMotion ICM-45xxx 6-axis series devices based on the company’s BalancedGyro, which enables vibration rejection and temperature stability to a degree never seen before in a consumer gyroscope. These motion sensors, featuring on-chip self-calibration, can be used in applications such as smartphones and robotic vacuum cleaners.

BalancedGyro is a gyroscope MEMS architecture that facilitates robust vibration rejection and temperature stability performance. Source: TDK

  1. Ultrasonic ToF sensor

TDK also exhibited the ICU-10201 and ICU-20201 ultrasonic time-of-flight (ToF) sensors for short- and long-range detection. Based on TDK’s SmartSonic platform, these sensors embed an on-chip processor to boost computational power. Besides robust processing capabilities, the sensors offer extended memory space, allowing a wide range of application algorithms to fit and run on-chip. That completely offloads the system MCU.

The ToF sensors integrate a MEMS piezoelectric micromachined ultrasonic transducer (PMUT) with an ultra-low-power system-on-chip (SoC) in a miniature reflowable package. Source: TDK

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