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MEMS thickness down to 250μm), a total MEMS optics solution measuring 4.5x4.5mm2 (driver included) would draw less than 1.5mW, about a hundred times less than today’s larger micromotors solutions (typically with a footprint of 8.5x8.5mm2), yet it can deliver 10 diopters of optical power variation when driven at 10V. What’s more, the MEMS have a response time of less than 3ms, about ten times faster than current solutions, claims Co-Founder and CEO Sébastien Bolis. “We are aiming at autofocus applications, customer feedback has been excellent so far and we’ll be ramping up production from mid-2015 onwards with three products of different optical apertures to cover all the smartphone needs, from HD resolution to over 20Mpixels” told us Bolis at SEMICON Europa. Wavelens is also developing optical zoom solutions but ultimately, it wants to offer optical stabilization and autofocus all in one MEMS component. “With three micromotors, today’s optical stabilizers are overly complicated and bulky, and none of the existing solutions would be cost-competitive with our MEMS approach” said Bolis. “With careful actuator design, we hope to be able to control the lens’ 3D shape so as to tilt the optical axis and perform image stabilization as well as autofocus, using a non-linear lens curvature” Bolis added, saying that if all goes according to plans, such a solution could well be ready by 2016. Irlynx hopes to undercut the presence detection market with a very low cost uncooled infrared sensor, built from pyro-electric PolyVinylidene Fluoride (PVDF) as the underlying sensing technology and a cheap polyethylene high-density optic. Founded in 2013 by Sébastien Fabre, the company has developed several detector arrays ranging from 16×16 pixels to more than 128×128 pixels with a thermal resolution under 1ºC and a customizable working distance (via the optics) to range from 1m to more than 15 meters. The horizontal field of view can also be tuned through the choice of the optics, from 30° to more than 120°. Tied to an MCU, the full sensing unit offers various industrial interfaces such as UART, I2C, or SPI, the total solution fitting in less than 1cm3. “Basically, it is PVDF spin-coated on top of an array of electrodes combined with reading circuitry”, told us Fabre, Irlynx’ CEO, “so it is completely compatible with CMOS manufacturing processes”. The company also provides a bunch of advanced image processing algorithms to interpret the sensor’s data as presence detection, with the capability to count subjects, track their displacement, set up alarms based on posture or geo-fencing perimeters. “Our solution is several orders of magnitude cheaper than current infrared monitoring systems, and unlike camerabased solutions, we only distinguish anonymous subjects as rough shapes, hence we preserve people’s privacy”, commented Fabre. The company had fake samples in hand, looking for the right investors to come up with the finalized goods. semicon europa 2014 A serial entrepreneur and experienced company CEO, Tristan Rousselle was presenting his new startup Aryballe Technologies, showing a poster for a handheld electronic nose capable of identifying thousands of different smells. Although the company only has a bulky working prototype in the lab (developed at CEA-Leti), Rousselle is confident he’ll be able to shrink it and bring this e-nose to the consumer market, tentatively by 2016 (the company was founded in July 2013). In the meantime, Aryballe Technologies hopes consumers will Presenting Aryballe Technologies, CEO Tristan Rousselle have fun identifying and mapping odours all over the world with the free OdoraMap app only launched last week. Later, the app will be fully integrated to the e-nose, helping the company build its database of unique recognizable scents. A producer of cellulose-laden Li-ion battery cell separation membranes, SepCell has patented a new type of separators consisting of PolyOxyEthylene reinforced with up to 10% of crystalline cellulose nanofibers, which the company claims make the separator much stronger and more puncture resistant than expensive alternatives. The company which has yet to be officially launched early 2015, is already working with a battery manufacturer to produce pre-series. “A typical failure mode of Li-ion batteries is due to the formation of lithium dentrites that grow from the anode until they reach the membrane and puncture it”, explained Yannick Molméret, Co-Founder of SepCell. “By adding cellulose fibres to the membrane, we make it about 40 times more puncture resistant than standard reinforced membranes, yet it remains lightweight and thin”, Molméret added. On top of its 150 MPa mechanical resistance, at 60°C the membrane’s conductivity is 2.10-4 S.cm-1, better than standard solutions, hence requiring less heating to remain functional in a car battery. In the lab, the aqueous manufacturing SepCell’s cellulose-reinforced separator. process yields membranes about 20μm thin, but with further development, the company hopes to reach a thickness below 10μm for commercialization by 2016. Rather than produce the membrane itself, in the future the company may well be licensing its technology to battery manufacturers. 12 Electronic Engineering Times Europe November 2014 www.electronics-eetimes.com


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