OKI Rolls Out ML8511 SOI-CMOS Technology-based UV Sensor ICs

Oki Electric Industry Co., Ltd. (TOKYO:6703) announced it has started volume shipment of its ultraviolet (UV) sensor ICs, ML8511, starting this month. OKI plans to ship over 100 thousand chips to Hong Kong and the Chinese markets this year.

“As trends toward health and anti-aging grow, many people are protecting their skin by monitoring the UV level they are exposed to. We believe it would be convenient if one could check the UV level more easily on a portable UV monitoring device,” said Takaki Yamada, President of Silicon Microdevice Company at Oki Electric Industry. “OKI succeeded in developing a UV sensor IC based on SOI-CMOS(1) technology, a first in the world. This IC will enable users to embed UV sensor functions in a variety of portable devices, offering end users the ability to check the UV level wherever they are.”

The ML8511 is the world’s first UV sensor IC to be based on SOI-CMOS technology, and it integrates a UV light-receiving element and an analog output circuit into a single chip. This helps to reduce the number of components, cost and size compared to conventional devices. Because the IC includes an energy-saving standby function, it is perfect for battery driven portable mobile devices which require low power consumption.

OKI is also releasing a reference board to support customers’ product development. The board includes the ML8511 IC to measure the light density of incident UV light and display a UV index. Once the UV index is measured, the UV level is displayed using LEDs on the printed circuit board. Starting from April 2008 OKI will provide reference designs to provide detailed guidelines detailed measures for skin care based on the UV level measured by the ML8511.

Going forward, OKI plans to offer sensors with higher functionality based on SOI-CMOS technology and to increase its product line up of easy-to-use sensor ICs for skin care.

(1) SOI-CMOS (Silicon-On-Insulator Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor)
This is a technology to develop CMOS on insulator. It uses an SOI substrate with an embedded Insulator instead of a conventional silicon substrate. This enables lower voltage operation and decreases the effect of leak current temperature, which is attractive for low voltage, low current and low leakage operation.

About Oki Electric Industry Co., Ltd.
Founded in 1881, Oki Electric Industry Co., Ltd. is Japan’s first telecommunications manufacturer, with its headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. OKI provides top-quality products, technologies and solutions to its customers through its info-telecom system business, semiconductor business and printer business. All three businesses function as a collective force to create exciting new products and technologies that satisfy a spectrum of customer needs in various markets.