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Sensor four directions for the future development

Published on:2018-02-10 Share to:

Sensor The new principles of technology, new materials and new technology research more in-depth, new varieties, new structures, new applications continue to emerge. Among them, the "five modernizations" have become an important trend in their development.

First, intelligent, two kinds of development go hand in hand. One direction is the integration of multiple sensing functions with data processing, storage, two-way communication, etc. All or part of the signal detection, transformation processing, logic judgment, function calculation, two-way communication, and internal self-test, , Self-diagnosis and other functions, with low-cost, high-precision information acquisition, data storage and communication, programming automation and functional diversification. Such as the United States Linear Technology (LinearTechnology) smart sensor installed ARM architecture 32-bit processor. The other direction is the soft sensor technology, that is, the combination of smart sensor and artificial intelligence. At present, various smart sensors based on artificial intelligence technology such as fuzzy reasoning, artificial neural network, expert system and the like have been presented and have been obtained in smart home and the like use. For example, NEC has developed a new method called "Invariant Analysis Technology" that simplifies the monitoring of a large number of sensors and has been put into operation for the infrastructure system this year.

The second is removable, wireless sensor network technology to speed up applications. The key of wireless sensor network technology is to overcome the node resource constraints (energy supply, computing and communication capabilities, storage space, etc.), and to meet the sensor network scalability, fault tolerance and other requirements. The technology is ranked by MIT's Technology Review magazine as one of the top ten emerging technologies that have a profound impact on the future of humankind. At present, the research and development focuses mainly on the design, positioning technology, time synchronization technology, data fusion technology, embedded operating system technology, network security technology, energy harvesting technology and other aspects of the routing protocol. So far, some developed countries and cities have applied technologies in areas such as smart home, precision agriculture, forestry monitoring, military, intelligent buildings and intelligent transportation. For example, Voltree Power LLC, an independent company from MIT, was commissioned by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to set up a temperature sensor in the mountains of California to build a sensor network to detect forest fires and reduce fire losses.

Third, miniaturization, MEMS sensor R & D sudden emergence. As integrated microelectromechanical machining technology matures, MEMS sensors introduce semiconductor processing technologies such as oxidation, lithography, diffusion, deposition and etching into the manufacturing of sensors, enabling mass production and miniaturization of sensors Provide important technical support. In recent years, Japan, the United States, the European Union and other countries in the semiconductor devices, microsystems and microstructures, speed measurement, micro-system processing methods / equipment, microphone / speaker, level / range / gyroscope, lithography process and material properties determination / Analysis and other technical areas have made important progress. At present, MEMS sensor technology research and development mainly in the following directions: (1) miniaturization while reducing power consumption; (2) to improve accuracy; (3) MEMS sensor integration and intelligence; (4) development and optics, Biology and other technologies such as MOMES sensors (combined with micro-optics), biochemical sensors (in combination with biotechnology and electrochemistry) and nanosensors (in combination with nanotechnology).

Fourth, integrated, multi-functional integrated sensor by the widespread concern. Sensor integration includes two types: one is the integration of multiple sensors of the same type, that is, multiple sensor elements of the same function are arranged on the same plane by an integrated process to form a linear sensor (such as a CCD image sensor). The other is multi-functional integration, such as several different sensitive components fabricated on the same silicon, made of integrated multi-function sensor, high integration, small size, easy to achieve compensation and correction, the current sensor integration The main direction of development. For example, STMicroelectronics has proposed combining multiple sensors as a sensor hub to enhance product functionality. Toshiba has developed a wafer-level combination sensor and released in March this year it can simultaneously detect pulses, ECG, body temperature and physical activity And other four kinds of vital signs information, and the data sent wirelessly to smart phone or tablet sensor module "Silmee".

Fifth, diversification, breakthroughs in new material technology to speed up the emergence of a variety of new sensors. The new sensitive material is the sensor technology foundation, material technology research and development is an important means to improve performance, reduce costs and technology upgrades. In addition to the traditional semiconductor materials, optical fibers, organic sensitive materials, ceramic materials, superconductors, nano and biomaterials have become hot spots for research and development, and new sensors such as biosensors, optical fiber sensors, gas sensors and digital sensors are accelerating. Such as optical fiber sensor is the use of optical fiber itself, the sensitivity of the function or the use of optical fiber transmission of light sensor, high sensitivity, anti-electromagnetic interference ability, corrosion resistance, good insulation, small size, low power consumption characteristics of the currently applied optical fiber sensor Measurable physical quantity of more than 70 kinds, the development of broad prospects; gas sensor can be measured gas concentration into a certain relationship with the power output, with good stability, good repeatability, good dynamic properties, rapid response, use and maintenance Convenient features, a wide range of applications. In addition, according to BCCResearch, biosensors and chemical sensors are expected to be the fastest growing segment of the sensor market. The CAGR of 2014-2019 is expected to reach 9.7%.

The future four areas of concern

With breakthroughs in cutting-edge technologies in materials science, nanotechnology, microelectronics and other fields as well as the needs of economic and social development, the four major areas may become the focus of the future development of sensor technology.

First, wearable applications. According to the forecast by ABI Research, the number of wearable sensors in 2017 will reach 160 million. Wearables, represented by Google Glass, are the most watched hardware innovations. Google glasses built as many as 10 kinds of sensors, including gyroscope sensors, acceleration sensors, magnetic sensors, linear acceleration sensor, to achieve some of the features can not be achieved with traditional terminals, such as the user only need to blink their eyes to complete the photo . Currently, wearable device applications are expanding from external watches, eyeglasses and shoes to a wider area such as electronic skin. Recently, the University of Tokyo has developed a flexible wearable sensor can be attached to the skin. The sensor is a thin film, weight per unit area of only 3g / m2, is about 1/27 of ordinary paper, the thickness of only 2 microns.

The second is driverless. US IHS pointed out that the sensor technology to promote the development of unmanned applications are accelerating the breakthrough. In this area, Google has achieved significant results in the development of unmanned vehicle projects that generate real-time traffic information in the perimeter of the car at intervals of 20 times per second using in-vehicle cameras, radar sensors and laser range finders, And the use of artificial intelligence software for analysis to predict the future trends related to road conditions, combined with Google Maps for road navigation. Google driverless cars have been on the road in Nevada, Florida and California. Global auto giants such as Audi, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Ford have been researching and developing driverless technologies, and some models are approaching mass production.

Third, health care and health monitoring. Many domestic and foreign medical research institutions, including the internationally renowned medical giant, have made significant progress in applying sensor technology to the medical field. For example, Rohm Corporation is currently developing an NIR-based image sensor based on the principle of shooting near infrared light LED, capturing the reflected light with a special camera, obtaining the image by changing the wavelength of near infrared light, and then passing Image processing makes blood vessels and other more vividly presented. Some research institutes have made advances in sensors that can be embedded or swallowed into the body. For example, Georgia Institute of Technology is developing an in-cell embedded sensor with a pressure sensor and a wireless communication circuit. The device is made of a conductive metal and an insulating film, and can detect a change of pressure according to the change of the frequency of the resonant circuit formed. Will be dissolved in body fluids.

Fourth, industrial control. In 2012, in its report "Industrial Internet: Breaking the Boundary between Wisdom and Machines," GE proposed that the connection of human-machine interfaces through smart sensors combined with software and big data analysis can break through the limitations of physics and materials science and change the world The way of operation. The report also pointed out that the United States through the deployment of the industrial Internet, all industries can achieve 1% efficiency increase in 15 years, the energy industry will save 1% of fuel (about 66 billion US dollars). In January 2013, GE installed more than 10,000 sensors at a cell manufacturer in New York to monitor data such as temperature, energy consumption, and air pressure during production, and factory managers can access the data through the iPad, Production supervision.

In addition, multinational companies such as Dutch Shell and Fuji Electric have also taken actions in this area.

Sensor industrialization of the important trend

In recent years, with the deepening of technology research and development, cost reduction, performance and reliability improvement, driven by the rapid development of Internet of Things, mobile Internet and high-end equipment manufacturing, the typical application market of sensors has developed rapidly. According to BCCResearch analysis, the global sensor market is expected to reach 79.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2014 and 116.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2019, a compound annual growth rate of 7.9%.

Asia Pacific will be the most potential market. At present, the sensors in the United States, Japan and European countries are advanced in technology and mature in the upstream and downstream industries. They are the major producers and the largest application markets for high-end sensor products. At the same time, the Asia Pacific region has become the most promising future market. Intentia Consulting said the Asia-Pacific market share will continue to grow in the next few years and is expected to increase to 38.1% in 2016 with a slight decline in North American and Western European market share.

Traffic, information and communication have become the fastest growing areas of the market. According to the estimates of Intentia Consulting, the global automotive sensor market will reach 41.97 billion euros in 2016, accounting for 22.8% of the global market; the telecommunications industry will reach 42.16 billion euros in 2016, accounting for 22.9% of the global market, and possibly Become the largest single application market. Innovative applications in areas such as medical treatment, environmental monitoring, oil and gas pipelines and smart grids will become new hot spots and are expected to create more market demands in the future.

M & A increasingly active. In the United States, Germany, Japan and other countries, the sensor large-scale enterprises have a solid foundation in R & D and all enterprises have formed their own technological advantages. The overall market competition pattern has been initially established (Schedule). What needs to be pointed out is that big companies gradually form a monopoly position in the market of "high precision, high precision" sensors and new sensors through mergers and acquisitions and control of technical standards and patents. Under the competitive pressure of large enterprises, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have moved toward the direction of "small (middle), fine, small and specialized", developing proprietary technologies and product-specific niche markets. According to statistics, in July 2010 to September 2011, the sensor industry, large-scale M & A transactions up to 20 times. Such as the US private equity firm VeritasCapitalIII 500 million US dollars in cash for the acquisition of PerkinElmer's lighting and detection solutions (IDS) business; the British think of Baji for 475 million US dollars acquisition of the United States Omega Engineering temperature and measurement equipment manufacturing operations . At present, more and more M & A transactions appear in emerging market countries.