New AI Thermal Sensing Solution

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It simplifies the integration of robust and low-cost contactless temperature-sensing feature into smart consumer-grade devices

There is demand for contactless, robust and privacy-preserving devices for detecting temperature with accuracy and wide coverage to safeguard against public health emergencies. And according to a recent research report, the global thermal imaging market is expected to reach US$ 4.6 billion by 2025.

Therefore, to help engineers and product designers rapidly combine AI and thermal sensing technologies for developing smart, reliable and affordable health-monitoring devices Arrow Electronics in collaboration with STMicroelectronics have launched an integrated thermal sensing solution.

It optimises bill-of-materials and simplifies hardware and software integration, making it a good choice for temperature-screening devices, and a wide variety of other consumer-grade and healthcare applications. 

The AI-powered thermal sensing solution can quickly achieve accurate temperature screening, with multiple individuals screened simultaneously. It comprises:

  • An STMicroelectronics Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensor that allows absolute distance measurement up to 400 cm at speed of 60 Hz – irrespective of the target colour and reflectance 
  • An STMicroelectronics digital ambient thermal sensor that detects ambient temperature and dynamically compensates for differences to allow complex measurements at high speed
  • A longwave infrared thermal image sensor 
  • An STMicroelectronics dual-core M7 and M4 MCU running at 480Mhz that acts as the main system processor

With the help of STM32Cube.AI, the deep-learning algorithm can be exported and executed on STM32 Arm Cortex-M-based microcontrollers. This allows the solution to detect target object distance and human presence, and display images in a heat map or RGB format. 

For best performance, an ultra-low noise LDO with a noise voltage of only 6 microvolts RMS is used for the power supplier of all the sensors. All three sensor blocks are connected to the main processor using an I2C and SPI bus.

“The solution takes full advantage of AI techniques on STMicroelectronics microcontrollers and sensors thanks to STM32Cube.AI, a complete development ecosystem from STMicroelectronics that allows easy implementation of complex AI models onto STMicroelectronics products,” said Matteo Maravita, head of APAC AI Competence Centre of STMicroelectronics.

“Many product engineers find it challenging to deploy AI models in a cost-efficient and robust way to a wide range of consumer-grade, healthcare, and IoT edge devices. This AI-enhanced solution with STM32 Arm Cortex-M-based microcontrollers offers a pricing advantage and delivers better energy efficiency, making it easier to bring to market the kind of intelligent devices that help individuals and communities stay safe,” said Jacky Wan, Arrow’s vice president of engineering for APAC. 

Adding the wireless connectivity feature for transmitting data to the gateway/cloud, the integrated solution can incorporate Murata type 1YN, a small and high-performance module with Single-Band 2.4GHz Wi-Fi 802.11n and Bluetooth 5.2.


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