Air-quality monitoring and breath analysis on mobile devices at Sensor + Test 2015


Breakthroughs in power consumption, cost and size mean that sophisticated gas sensor ICs can be integrated into phone, tablet and IoT designs for the first time.


Cambridge CMOS Sensors (CCS) announced today that it is to demonstrate at the Sensor + Test exhibition (Nuremberg, Germany, 19-21 May 2015) how its indoor air-quality and breath-testing sensor ICs may be integrated into smartphones, tablets and connected IoT devices.

The company’s CCS801 (indoor air-quality monitoring) and CCS803 (ethanol breathalyser measurement) sensors are so small, low-cost and power-efficient that they can be accommodated on the densely populated PCBs found in phones, tablets and IoT devices, with negligible effect on the bill-of-materials cost or battery run-time. This means that CCS’s technology will enable a range of gas sensing applications which were previously not possible, and allow consumers to monitor their environment everywhere, whether on a phone, in the home, in the office or on any mobile device.

Visitors to CCS at Sensor + Test (stand 12.566) will be able to evaluate the accuracy and see the small size of the CCS801 and CCS803 circuits for themselves. Both the indoor air-quality monitoring and the breath-testing designs will be operating in the form of pluggable modules with a micro-USB connection to an Android™-based smartphone. The smartphone will be running demonstration air-quality monitoring and breath-testing apps developed by CCS.

In addition, CCS will be demonstrating stand-alone indoor air-quality modules, which use Bluetooth® Smart wireless technology to interface to any Bluetooth® Smart Ready smartphone, tablet or laptop PC.

The technology behind the miniature gas sensors on display at Sensor + Test is the result of proprietary CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) wafer fabrication breakthroughs patented by CCS. This technology has enabled CCS to shrink the board footprint required for a volatile organic compounds (VOCs) sensor, while reducing the power required for gas sensing to a typical 200mW typically consumed by existing metal-oxide sensors.

And because the CCS devices are built in a conventional CMOS process, they may be readily produced in high volume at a low unit cost.

Dr Jess Brown, worldwide sales and marketing director at CCS, said: ‘CCS has crossed a threshold for the cost and power consumption of gas sensors, bringing them to a point at which they can be integrated inside even a low-end smartphone, tablet or connected IoT device.

‘Our demonstration at Sensor + Test will show how remarkably accurate and sensitive our indoor air-quality and ethanol measurement devices are, as well as giving visitors a chance to see how small a circuit is required to realise a design based on either the CCS801 or the CCS803.’

The CCS801 indoor air-quality monitoring IC and the CCS803 breath-analysis IC are available today in production volumes, housed in a 2mm x 3mm DFN package. More information about both devices may be found at


Founded in 2008, ams Sensors UK Ltd (formerly Cambridge CMOS Sensors Ltd) is the industry leader in advanced sensor solutions providing sensor technology across multiple global markets.

ams Sensors UK Ltd