Renesas releases IP67 waterproof sensor for high-humidity environments

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Renesas Electronics Corp. has expanded its ZMOD4410 Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) sensor platform with a new option for high-humidity environments. Claiming the industry’s first software-configurable IP67-qualified waterproof sensor option for IAQ applications operating in wet or dirty environments such as kitchens, bathrooms, and hospital rooms, the new option enables the sensor platform to be used in low-power IAQ applications that operate in splash zones where it can be exposed to water, oils, and dust.

“The increasing use of IAQ sensors in splash zone environments along with other areas with frequent exposure to water, oils, and dust drives higher demand for protection from those elements without sacrificing performance – a traditionally expensive process that requires additional hardware and firmware,” said Uwe Guenther, senior director, Sensing Solutions, IoT and Infrastructure Business Unit at Renesas, in a statement.

The firmware-configurable waterproof ZMOD4410 sensor features a unique hermetically-sealed package that protects the sensor from water and dust with a hydrophobic and oleophobic material. This material is permeable to humidity and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) at the same time, said Renesas.

The waterproof sensor is also highly resistant to siloxanes, enabling use in harsh applications. The sensor is shipped fully calibrated in the hydrophobic and oleophobic package. A conformal coating can be applied to the circuitry by the customer rather than adding an external membrane to the module, said Renesas.

Earlier this year, Renesas expanded the platform with embedded artificial intelligence (e-AI) that improves odor sensing for ventilation systems, bathroom monitoring and controls, and air quality monitors. The neural-network−trained firmware for a variety of microcontrollers (MCUs), including the RL78  MCU, provides higher-resolution measurement results. The new waterproof sensor features the AI firmware implemented on an MCU to improve sensing performance.

Renesas’ software-configurable ZMOD platform allows firmware updates in the field that enable application-specific capabilities such as selective measurements to detect VOCs.

“This includes IAQ measurement within international guidelines, allowing customers to measure total VOCs (TVOCs) in the low parts-per-million range (ppm),” and “the higher accuracy and consistency provides improved estimated carbon dioxide (eCO2) levels,” said Renesas.

The ZMOD4410 sensor with the hydrophobic package is available now.

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