First sales for CMOS Sensors

University of Cambridge spin-out Cambridge CMOS Sensors has made the first sales of its innovative gas-sensing microsystems to two leading international sensor companies.

The sales are a milestone for the Cambridge-based company, which was founded in 2009, developed out of research from the University’s Department of Engineering.

Additionally, the company has also recently signed an agreement with a UK-based sensor manufacturer to develop gas sensors using Cambridge CMOS Sensors’ technology.

CMOS micro-hotplate technology has a huge potential market, from the automotive industry to medical applications, and we look forward to the company’s continued growth.

Professor Florin Udrea

Gas-sensing technology currently has a wide range of residential, commercial and academic applications, including domestic gas detectors, industrial safety, explosive detection, medical diagnostics and environmental monitoring.

Cambridge CMOS Sensors has patented microsytems technology that involves new types of silicon-on-insulator (SOI) complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) heaters for application in microsensors.

By using CMOS technology, which is used in microprocessors and other digital logic circuits, gas sensors can be developed based on a miniature heating element (micro-hotplate) design with smart drive and accurate temperature control. This will show gas sensors to be produced in higher volume and at lower cost than current state of the art products.

The devices can be heated from room temperature to 700°C in a fraction of a second and have the ultra-low power consumption suitable for battery operated devices.

“We are delighted to see our technology get to market,” says Professor Florin Udrea, one of the company’s founders. “CMOS micro-hotplate technology has a huge potential market, from the automotive industry to medical applications, and we look forward to the company’s continued growth.”

Cambridge CMOS Sensors was founded by Professor Udrea, who is also a co-founder of CamSemi; Professor Julian Gardner, Professor of Electronic Engineering at the University of Warwick; and Professor Bill Milne, head of the Electrical Engineering Division at Cambridge and Director of the Centre for Advanced Photonics and Electronics (CAPE). The three academics have worked together for 15 years and have a successful record of transferring research to industry. The company has received seed funding from Cambridge Enterprise, the University’s commercialisation office.

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