In recent years, with the advancement of science and technology, computer microprocessor technology, modern digital signal processing technology, introduction of new semiconductor materials, and processing and manufacturing processes, infrared sensors have developed rapidly. According to predictions from a foreign research institute, the global sales of infrared sensors will increase from $152 million in 2010 to 286 million in 2016. According to a research report from ASD Reports, a US market research company, the global market for EO/IR sensors will reach US$10 billion by 2024, compared to the US$7.3 billion market in 2014. The growth rate will reach 3.22%.
Infrared sensor technology is one of the fastest growing technologies in recent years. Infrared sensors have been widely used in many fields such as aerospace, astronomy, meteorology, military, industrial and civil use, and play an irreplaceable role. Infrared, which is essentially an electromagnetic radiation wave, has a wavelength in the range of approximately 0.78m to 1000m. Since it is a light Other
than red light in visible light, it is named infrared. Any object with a temperature above absolute zero will radiate energy to the outside space in the form of infrared rays. The use of infrared radiation to achieve the relevant physical quantity measurement sensing technology, that is, infrared sensing technology.
In recent years, the development trend of infrared sensors is mainly reflected in the following aspects:
1. Development of new materials and processing technologies
With new materials and processing technologies, the infrared detection rate of the sensor is improved, the response wavelength is increased, the response time is shortened, the pixel sensitivity and the pixel density are higher, the anti-interference performance is improved, and the production cost is reduced. For example, Pyreos and Irisys have introduced a new type of pyroelectric sensitive technology that combines thin films and ceramics to enable arrays of sensitive components.
2. Larger and more multifunctional sensors
With the development of microelectronics technology and the continuous expansion of the application fields of sensors, infrared sensors are developing from small-scale, single-function to large-scale and multi-functional. For example, a large-scale infrared sensor (16Ã—16 to 64Ã—64 pixels) developed in foreign countries can perform temperature field measurement, and can also obtain human body detection functions that advanced and small-scale infrared sensors do not have (accurately positioning individuals in space). The middle position, even if the person is not active, can also identify the functions such as safety monitoring in a large area or the like, and is very suitable for applications such as home automation, medical care, and security protection. In addition, the development of new multispectral sensors has also greatly improved the functionality of infrared imaging arrays.
3, the intelligence of the sensor
The new intelligent infrared sensors usually have built-in multiple microprocessors, and have advanced digital signal processing or compensation functions such as Fourier transform, wavelet transform, self-diagnosis functions, two-way digital communications and other functions, making the stability, reliability, and reliability of sensors. The performance of noise ratio, convenience, etc. is greatly improved.
4. Further miniaturization and integration of sensors
Using on-chip integration technology (including blind element substitution, non-uniformity correction, partial image processing functions, etc.) and other new device structures and new manufacturing process technologies, in MEMS (microelectromechanical systems), and even nanotechnology-based NEMS (Nano Under the impetus of electromechanical systems, the size of infrared sensors is greatly reduced, power consumption is greatly reduced, and the degree of integration is significantly improved. Due to the superior performance of infrared sensors, many mainstream instrumentation research institutes and manufacturers are investing more and more in R&D.
Infrared sensors are mainly used in what areas?
The latest infrared sensor (IRdetectors) technology and market trend report published by market research institutes pointed out that emerging applications such as intelligent building automation and mobile device temperature sensing will become new drivers for the growth of the infrared sensor market.
Small-sized infrared sensors used in consumer mobile devices, such as mobile phone and tablet devices, have added internal and on-site temperature infrared single pixel sensing capabilities. If wafer-level packaging technology is used, they can be produced at a lower cost and smaller size. Sensors;
As the mobile phone and tablet have a large number of built-in infrared sensors, it is possible to increase the market size of US$30 million around 2018.
Mid-size infrared array sensors (4x4~16x16 pixels) have successfully entered the air-conditioning, heating and ventilation systems of homes and automobiles; if the prices of products are expected to be closer to the people in the future, there are also promising applications in retail and home appliances.
The future market for large-scale infrared array sensors (32x32 pixels or more) is a multi-sensor device for smart homes. Although customers in this market can afford higher costs, the popularity of products still depends on price decline.
Infrared sensor future market size forecast
The YoleDeveloppement report pointed out that the continuous innovation of technology is an important factor in the application of infrared sensors to high-end infrared array detectors. It has always been regarded as a low-cost and easy-to-manufacture infrared sensor and has been widely and diversely applied to buildings. Security, electrical, industrial motion sensing, temperature measurement, calculations, and gas and fire detection. The original infrared sensor was only a single-pixel pyroelectric sensor with basic motion detection. Recently, infrared sensors have gradually entered the complex and high-end markets such as temperature measurement, gas, spectrum, and fire sensing.
Since 2000, with the introduction of array sensors into the market, infrared sensors have been successfully launched to multiple high-end markets. Driven by HeimannSensors, many companies stepped on the "technology-driven innovation" step to add pyroelectric (Pyroelectric) and thermopile (Thermopiles) technologies to the production of infrared sensing arrays.
Omron and Panasonic from the MEMS industry have extensive experience in MEMS complex processes and have promoted the thermopile technology to lead in the production of infrared array sensors. However, in 2013, the ULIS challenged thermopiles, which spread across infrared sensors from the infrared imaging market, became mainstream. They introduced the first ultra-large infrared ray with a high-resolution Microbolometer and 100x100 pixels or less. Sensors are expected to divide the growing market of large infrared sensors. It is estimated that the leading FLIR from the uncooled infrared imaging market in 2014 will introduce market share of products using microbolometers on small infrared array sensors.
Due to the diversification of infrared sensing manufacturers, the competition pattern of infrared detectors is very complicated. It is necessary to clearly understand the technical background and positioning of each major manufacturer in order to understand the overall market opportunities and the challenges to be faced. Yole Developpement stated that the market for small infrared sensors has matured to a price war, with medium and large infrared arrays sensing. The device is still based on performance and quality, and there are still room for newcomers to join.
In short, the transition from small infrared detectors to the production of medium and large infrared array sensors is challenging and requires sufficient patent and MEMS manufacturing capabilities. Therefore, most of the existing manufacturers do not directly attempt to migrate to large-size infrared array sensors from small infrared sensors.
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