Veurey-Voroize, France--Infrared (IR) imaging sensors manufacturer ULIS will collaborate with technology research center CEA/Leti on a R&D project to develop and market a new line of energy-efficient IR sensors. Budgeted at EUR 26m, the project will enable ULIS to accelerate development of the line to the market more quickly.
The new line of IR sensors are designed to fill an unmet need in applications seeking to achieve maximum efficiency in the everyday use of energy, such as heating systems. Existing single-element IR sensors (pyroelectric sensors), like those used in buildings to detect motion, lack the technological capability and quantity of pixels to provide complex data. This includes an inability of these single-element sensors to detect the number of people in a room, particularly if those present are immobile.
ULIS specializes in making large-volume IR imaging sensors that can produce high-quality and video-format IR images. Unlike ULIS’ current lines, the new low-resolution IR sensors will have considerably fewer pixels, 1,000-10,000, as they will not be required to produce a viewable image.
The energy-saving applications ULIS will target for the new IR sensors include improving the management of heating, cooling, and lighting systems, as well as people flow in public places. The products will also be suitable for security (access control and surveillance), safety (fire detection), and healthcare (IR endoscopy), among others.
The IR sensor project is scheduled to run for four years. Within this period, ULIS plans to have prototypes as well as finished products ready and available on the market.
As a result of expanding its business activities through this new line of IR imaging sensors, ULIS expects to increase its head count by 50%. The new business line is expected to generate a 40% growth in revenue.
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