The Trace-Temp 1 is a ground up design that challenges conventional thinking of non-contact infrared devices (NCID) that are used for human body temperature measurements. Conventional NCID are designed to measure and display the measure temperature only, giving very little useful information about the subject being measured other than the raw temperature data measured. The technologies used in the Trace-temp 1 not only allow for extreme temperature measurement accuracies of better than ±0.2 degC, they also allow for potential IoT applications and further coupled with AI technologies. These allow the provision of not only temperature data, but additional insights into the health of the subject allowing for preventive measures. The availability of OTA firmware updates offer the opportunities for the device to be upgraded with better firmware control and potentially allowing for more feature on the same device.
While there are various enabling technologies within the Trace-Temp 1 that were integrated to offer the greatest value compared to any other NCID products in the market today, there are 3 key technologies within the Trace-Temp 1 that really stands out and make it such a unique proposition:
1) Thermopile 2.0, a next generation thermopile with performance that is 2 orders of magnitude better than market competition,
2) LAAP, a true wafer level packaging format that brings about manufacturing efficiency,
3) Trace-TempAI, an AI powered application with the capability of detecting potential fever trends.
The current generation of semiconductor-based thermopile are characterized by their low responsivity, typically in the sub 100V/W range. The direct results are lower D*, low signal to noise, larger active area to achieve desired output voltages, and higher time constants with the higher thermal mass. Thermopile 2.0 from T-SMART represents a new generation of CMOS compatible thermopile technology that addresses these known shortcomings of the current generation of thermopiles in the market today. One key parameter of the thermopile, that has a direct relationship to the sensor’s sensitivity is the responsivity of the thermopile. T-SMART’s Thermopile 2.0 has responsivity of greater than 30,000 V/W at die level, 2 orders of magnitude higher than the current generation of thermopiles. The NETD of Thermopile 2.0 can be as low as 15mK. The high responsivity and resulting SNR improvements are significant and are important in allowing for more accurate and repeatable thermal measurements.
A traditional thermopile’s response time, or its time constant, is directly proportional to its active area thermal mass. With the low responsivity, a larger active area is needed to get an appropriate useable output signal. This would inevitably have a negative impact on the sensor’s time constant. The Thermopile 2.0 from T-SMART avoids this problem. The parallel-series architecture of the Thermopile 2.0 allows for the scaling of the pre-amplified output voltage to appropriate levels as demanded by application, while maintaining the inherent time constant of a single sensor element. This means that the time constant of the Thermopile 2.0 is kept below 10ms even as the active area is increased to allow for higher output voltages. This is especially useful in applications requiring the measurement of fast-moving objects.