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NEC Develops High Resolution Infrared Sensor with the World's Smallest Pixel Size for 640 x 480 High Resolution

*** For immediate use December 5, 2012

Infrared SensorInfrared Sensor

Tokyo, December 5, 2012 - NEC Corporation (NEC; TSE: 6701) has developed an ultra-compact infrared sensor that supports a 12μm pixel size (pixel pitch) for 640 x 480 high resolution, the world's smallest pixel pitch(*1) for un-cooled infrared sensors.

The unique features of infrared cameras make them ideal for use throughout a wide variety of industries and locations. These cameras produce stable images regardless of day, night or backlight conditions, making them well suited for security purposes in strategic facilities. Furthermore, their ability to detect high temperatures enables helicopters equipped with these cameras to locate outbreaks of fire, to better understand disaster situations and to locate individuals in need of help.

However, the large size of conventional infrared cameras significantly limits the range of activities they can be used for.

NEC's newly developed ultra-compact infrared sensors are approximately 90% smaller than the company's existing products. This enables the production of smaller infrared cameras that can be used for a significantly wider range of purposes.

Standard surveillance cameras, for example, struggle to provide stable images under changing conditions, such as shifting light, darkness, rain and snow. The adoption of NEC's ultra-compact infrared sensors will enable surveillance cameras to overcome these issues.

Moreover, the spread of infrared cameras for use in search and rescue operations can also make important contributions to lifesaving measures during nighttime searches and emergency disaster situations.

This newly developed sensor capitalizes on a specialized pixel structure utilizing Micro Electro Mechanical System (MEMS) technologies in order to realize a 12μm pixel pitch for 640 x 480 high resolution, the world's smallest. As a result, NEC is able to reduce both the size of the sensors and the volume (*2) of their infrared lenses.

This prototype was developed in cooperation with the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).



(*1) Based on NEC research on infrared sensors that display the equivalent of a Video Graphics Array (VGA) as of December 5, 2012.

(*2) Reduced by 75% when compared to an NEC lens for a pixel pitch of 23.5μm.

About NEC Corporation
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NEC Press Contacts (Japan)

Seiichiro Toda
NEC Corporation

Joseph Jasper
NEC Corporation