B1.1 - Trends of Piezoresistive Sensor Technology

SENSOR+TEST Conferences 2011
2011-06-07 - 2011-06-09
Proceedings SENSOR 2011
B1 - Piezoresistive Sensors
P. Krause, H. Michels, G. Varma - First Sensor Technology GmbH, Berlin (Germany)
205 - 210


Pressure and temperature are the most frequently measured characteristics. Pressure sensors are present in all kinds of daily applications. The most important are automotive, industrial and medical applications.

Today several principles are applied for pressure measurement and most principles measure a deflection of a membrane. Piezoresistive pressure sensors are among the most frequently used measurement principles. The presentation shows the current technological status of piezoresistive pressure sensors and its future development along the value chain. Many conclusions can also be applied for other measurement principles.

The assessment of the sensor trends is based on experiences of the authors in the pressure sensor industry and the study “Sensor Trends 2014” of the AMA (association of the German sensor industry).

In the next years the development of piezoresistive pressure sensors continues and several major innovations will increase the performance and features of piezoresistive sensors. Future sensors will be more cost efficient, more compact and consume less energy. At the same time they will be more stable, more robust and measure with higher accuracy.

Another trend are more complex and intelligent sensors. Sensors will combine the measurement of several characteristics on one chip and check its current status with self diagnosis systems. In automotive applications the measured values are increasingly transferred digitally. That allows the transmission of different signals over one interface, increases the reliability and cost efficiency.

These are major developments are to be expected in the next decade. The time until a new pressure sensor technology goes into serial production can however be long. The qualification of a new sensor technology is expensive and takes at least several months, sometimes even years. The replacement of an existing sensor will therefore only be done if the new sensor technology offers significant advantages. Therefore the current sensor technologies will remain in the market for several years and will be replaced when completely new pressure sensor module is introduced.

Customization, miniaturization and increasing functionality are possibilities to deal with cost pressure. These demands can only be fulfilled with extensive application know how. Especially the customization is implemented through innovative packaging solutions. Consequently we can observe a further shift in the value chain. The value creation of packaging and calibration becomes more important.