ChipSensors, a fabless
semiconductor start-up company, has developed semiconductor technology
that enables the surface of the chip itself to sense parameters such as temperature, humidity, certain gases and pathogens.
According to a company press release the technology uses dielectric material in standard sub-micron CMOS comprises porous oxides and polymers. By admitting or blocking the movement of the agent to be sensed, any resulting changes in electrical characteristics can be accurately detected and measured.
The sensor on the chip technology is being shown in public for the first time at the RFID Europe 2007 exhibition in Cambridge. The company claims that the sensor on the chip technology could be an all-electronic replacement for the type of electromechanical thermostats and humidistats used in building management and environmental monitoring systems.
ChipSensors is also currently developing an ultra-low-power wireless version of this sensor. This will integrate all the signal conditioning, microcontroller, memory and RF transceiver functions onto the same chip as the sensor itself - for incorporation into passive and active ID tags.