Pyreos, the Edinburgh-based passive infra-red sensor developer, has won its first volume contract for its two-chip ezPyro sensor, which incorporates both a sensor and a processor (ASIC).  The tiny ezPyro sensor is faster than competitor devices, has industry-leading low power consumption, works without calibration for many years and is the world’s smallest digital pyroelectric sensor.

The order was won from a South Korean customer, which is deploying the sensor in two of its products.

The ezPyro component has been designed into a standalone fire-detection device and a standard closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera, adding a flame-detection feature to the system.

Pyreos already has a well-established customer base in South Korea, mainly in gas detection and fire detection.

Exports accounted for 78 per cent of the company’s revenues in 2016, with 44 per cent of sales coming from Asia that year.

Andrew Wallace, chief executive at Pyreos, said: “Winning our first volume order for ezPyro so soon after launching the sensor is a real validation of the how our customers rate this new product.

“Our client in South Korea will not only include ezPyro in a fire-detection device, but will also build it into standard CCTV cameras, adding extra value to those cameras for its clients.

“This is just one example of how our sensors can help move customer devices up the value-chain, adding features that will set equipment apart from its competitors.

“A lot of careful work has gone into the development of ezPyro and I’m really pleased to see that’s now being rewarded with volume shipments.”

The ezPyro chip is the world’s smallest pyro-electric sensor with a digital interface.

It was launched last May at the Sensor+Test measurement fair held at Nuremburg in Germany.

The ezPyro comes in an SMD package measuring just 5.65mm by 3.7mm, with a height of 1.55mm, and combine 1 or 4 sensor elements with a readout IC with an I2C interface.

Pyreos’ pyro-electric sensors have response times measured in milliseconds, instead of a timescale measured in seconds by some rival components.

Current consumption ranges from 1μA to 70μA depending on the power mode used, compared with figures measured in mA for similar products.

The chip’s very low-power consumption means that it is very suitable for battery-powered detectors.

ezPyro sensors are very stable and can therefore go without re-calibration for years, thereby significantly reducing the cost of ownership of detectors.

Mr Wallace added: “Our South Korean deal demonstrates the broad range of applications for the ezPyro sensor.

“It can be incorporated into a wide variety of devices, from fire and gas detection systems through to medical and consumer breath analysers, car air conditioning systems and food safety devices.

“Pyreos’ sales have been growing by 25-50 per cent quarter-on-quarter since the middle of last year.

“That growth demonstrates how popular our sensors are becoming and ezPyro is adding to that success.”

Pyreos’ expansion has been fuelled by £1.8 million raised last September from new and existing investors.

The company was spun out of German industrial firm Siemens in 2007.  Shareholders include Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH, the Scottish Investment Bank (the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise), Seraphim Capital and Siemens Technology Accelerator.

They were joined in 2016 by new investor London Business Angels, one of Europe’s most respected and active private investment groups.

The investment followed a £2.5m internal funding package secured in 2015.

Pyreos will be at stand 5-231 at the Sensor & Test Show, Nuremburg, from 30 May to 1 June 2017. The company will be making further announcements about ezPyro and other new products.