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An ultra-low-power multi-gas microsensor with self-calibration capabilities for 10-year deployments

One of many interesting technologies on show at Electronica 2022, VOCSens’ EnviCam-30 takes the cake for gas sensing, with the ability to sense many different gases using a single SiP in a minute 10 x 5 x 0.9 mm LGA package. The EnviCam-30 was designed to supply data for IoT and Industry 4.0 solutions, including petrochemical, agriculture and food, recycling, smart city and smart building, healthcare, pharmaceutical and security applications. With a power consumption of <50 µW continuously at one measurement per second, this device is certainly designed with a greener IoT in mind.

VOCSens’ patented CMOSEnvi™technology enables high selectivity with respect to the chemical compounds that an end user is interested in monitoring. At the time of this writing, the EnviCam-30 is capable of measuring the following chemicals using a variety of nanotech-based sensing ‘pixels’:

-> Ammonia (NH3) @ 0.2-200 ppm
-> Carbon monoxide (CO) @ 1-2000 ppm
-> Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) @ 0.025-200 ppm
-> Formaldehyde (HCHO) @ 0.1-20 ppm
-> Acetaldehyde (CH3CHO) @ 0.1-20 ppm

Methane, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen sulphide measurement capabilities should be made available in Q1 2023, and additional sensing for BTEX, ethylene oxide, ethylene, sulphur dioxide, hydrogen, and acetone is under development; that’s 14 gases in total! Extended measurement range and dedicated developments are available by request.

For easy integration into an end device, VOCSens provides ample support, including firmware libraries to control the multi-gas microsensor and to integrate it into your embedded software application. AI algorithms are used to self-calibrate gas measurements against the drifts caused by temperature, humidity, gas cross-sensitivities, and aging of the device; temperature and humidity sensing for this calibration are provided by a third-party component. Depending on the processing capabilities, the required software can either be installed locally on a server or directly embedded on an MCU within the customer’s sensor module, with recurrent updates.

Perhaps it is clear from my post that the EnviCam-30 is still somewhat in development, but there was certainly a lot of buzz surrounding it at Electronica, so I’m sure this will be a hot topic when an evaluation board is finally released for general consumption; VOCSens states that one is coming soon. If you are interested in the EnviCam-30’s capabilities, I would recommend getting into discussions with VOCSens early so you can find out if this solution is suitable for your application, even if you continue to search for alternatives while you wait. That said, I’m not sure you’ll find anything quite as compact and versatile as this device.

Keep designing!

(Image sourced from VOCSens)

VOCSens EnviCam-30 Multi-Gas Microsensor Consultation

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