NEC to Launch New Infrared Camera Module

TOKYO /MARKET WIRE/ -- NEC Corp. announced that it will begin shipping a new uncooled infrared camera module, the HX0830M1, to manufacturers for use in a broad range of applications in various fields. In contrast to infrared cameras where the sensors must be cooled, the HX0830M1 uses uncooled sensors, which operate at normal temperatures.

Manufactured by NEC, the module is compact, light, and boasts a highly sensitive infrared detector capable of detecting far infrared energy in the 8 to 14 micron region. It is highly suited to heat surveillance and vision enhancement applications, and is also embedded with image-processing circuits.

Because the module can be operated through simple connection to a power supply and has a video output terminal and a simple button interface, it can be commercialized or embedded in infrared cameras without special development, making it highly suitable for use by manufacturers in a wide range of fields, including infrared cameras. Lead time of the module is 3 months after receipt of order. In North America, NEC Corporation of America's Advanced Sensors Technology Department, based in Herndon, VA, will market the new product.

With an infrared camera, infrared wavelengths of light invisible to the naked eye that are emitted from an object are captured as degrees of luminance. These qualities make infrared camera modules ideal for a range of uses. For example, as the infrared sensor is unaffected by visible light and can detect objects as heat information even in places where there is no light, it could be used for intruder surveillance, security, disaster relief, survivor searches, and vision enhancement for aircraft, ships, and vehicles.

In addition, because it is possible to visualize an object's surface temperature via 2D distribution, both remotely and without making contact, it can be used for condition monitoring and maintenance of dangerous areas, such as places with objects of high temperature, rotators, high voltages, and in high locations that require acquisition of temperature distribution information. Because it can assess the heat conduction state, the module can be used for quality control of products and foods, for which heat processing and drying are performed, and in R&D and medical fields for such things as non-destructive inspections of products, building structures, and the like.

Furthermore, because the degree of transmission differs from visible light areas, depending on the material properties, it can penetrate through smoke to perceive an object. Leveraging this feature, the module has been used in the fire fighting field to assess fire extinguishment and rescue status to minimize risk to fire fighters at the fire scene.

In the future, more applications are expected in such fields as biometrics and intelligent traffic systems.

The new product was developed to realize wider use of far infrared cameras that meet these needs of industry and the needs of society in safety assurance aspects, such as security, disaster prevention, and anti-terror strategy.

With the commercialization of this product, full-scale production of uncooled infrared detectors has been initiated at the NEC's Fuchu and Sagamihara plants, securing volume production in Japan. By so doing, along with ensuring the supply of sensors in Japan, and by supporting modular product, NEC intends to expand the application of infrared and usage in a wide range of fields and to pioneer new fields of application.

In the future, NEC is planning to commercialize an uncooled infrared camera module with 640 by 480 pixel resolution.

In addition, the standalone uncooled infrared detectors, which are used in the modules, are also available.

New product information is available on the company's Web site.