Infineon Technologies, a maker of various special-purpose chips, on Monday signed license agreement with Ident Technology for low-cost motion-sensing technology aimed at video game consoles and other consumer electronics. The technology does not require users to move any devices: the electronics will detect gestures and movements itself.
“Our development has the potential to revolutionize the man-machine interface. It can sense and evaluate movement, position and speed at low cost and due to no moving parts will be inherently maintenance-free. This is unique in the market, and above all, it is attractive for high-volume applications,” says Christian Burrer, senior director in the industry and multi-market segment at Infineon.
One key advantage of the new sensor chip will be the greatly simplified production of the terminal unit. For instance, the new technology is supposed to replace the strain gauges that have been used up to now to detect movement or shift of weight. These are so far assembled by hand in a costly individual manufacturing process. By contrast, with this new technology, the sensors are part of the printed circuit board on which the chip is mounted. Therefore no additional steps in the manufacturing process are required. The new chip will also significantly reduce the time for calibration below 100ms. Comparable applications today require a calibration time of more than a second.
“The sensor chip enables the implementation of low energy, maintenance-free contactless buttons, joy-sticks, steering-wheels and other control elements for PCs and game consoles. Interaction and communication can be controlled solely through gestures, body movements or shifting of weight,” said Peter Rosenbeck, chief executive of Ident Technology.
With this partnership, Infineon Technologies increases its commitment in the area of application-specific chips for game consoles and PC peripherals, such as computer mice and keyboards. Within this cooperation Infineon is developing a sensor chip that allows recognition and evaluation of movements and gestures that could until now only be detected at considerably greater technical effort and cost. Infineon is already an established supplier of custom specific chips for these applications.
First evaluation samples will be presented by Infineon in fall 2009. First products using this new sensor-technology could come on the market by first half of 2010.