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【Press release】Aroma Bit succeeds in developing the world’s smallest*1 high-odor resolution CMOS semiconductor-based odor imaging sensor chip


*1 as e-Nose type odor imaging sensor(Based on Aroma Bit’s own research)

Aroma Bit, Inc. (Representative Director & President: Shunichiro Kuroki, Headquarter: Chuo-ku, Tokyo, hereinafter “Aroma Bit”), a company that plans and develops compact odor sensors and innovative services using these sensors, has announced that it has successfully developed a prototype of e-nose type odor imaging sensor using CMOS semiconductors that is the world’s smallest*1, highly-integrated and high odor resolution.

Aroma Bit have designed and fabricated a new CMOS semiconductor type odor imaging sensor chip, with a sensor element area of only 1.2 x 1.2 mm, equipped with peripheral driver and A/D converter circuits. A demonstration test of the technology is then conducted to form as many odor-receptor membranes as possible in the sensor element area of this prototype chip.
The membrane was deposited using the printing technology of SIJ Technology, which possesses super inkjet technology capable of forming the world’s smallest droplets capable of single-micron-level fine dispensing.

As a result, Aroma Bit have established a basic technology that enables us to configure 100 odor-receptor membranes within a sensor element area of only 1.2mmx1.2mm.
As a result, the world’s smallest*1 e-Nose type odor sensor to date, with the world’s highest density sensor element array have been realized.
Since this will enable easy sensor integration in a variety of devices, Aroma Bit intends to accelerate market development, for application market requiring low-cost and high-volume.

Aroma Bit, Inc.:

Figure1 CMOS semiconductor e-nose type odor sensor chip prototype

What is e-nose type odor sensor?

Conventionally, gas chromatography and oxide semiconductor type odor sensors have been employed as sensors to measure odor. The former can measure the composition of odorants, while the latter can measure the overall amount of odorants, but cannot determine differences in the odor itself.
In contrast, the e-nose type odor sensor is capable to output digital pattern of odors by depositing a number of odor receptor membranes with different chemical affinities on a number of sensor elements, biomimicking the same principle as the human nose can distinguish odors.

Background of Development:

Aroma Bit has developed and manufactures two types of e-Nose type odor sensors (quartz crystal microbalance or QCM type and CMOS semiconductor type) that can digitally output odor pattern based on the same principle as the human nose judges odors, by mounting a number of odor receptor membrane films with different chemical affinity on a number of sensor elements.
In particular, Aroma Bit have been vigorously developing odor receptor membrane film materials and deposition technology, as one of the most important technologies for manufacturing high-odor resolution, high-performance e-Nose type odor sensors.
Furthermore, Aroma Bit has been developing more compact and highly integrated sensor chips and e-Nose type sensor modules, thru collaboration with Toyohashi University of Technology, as it contributes to easy embedding and integration to user’s system.

Key features of the world’s smallest1 “e-Nose type odor imaging sensor chip”

Based on the above background, Aroma Bit have succeeded in developing a prototype of CMOS semiconductor type sensor chip, with the world’s smallest sensor element size and largest number of elements integrated as a transducer for e-Nose type odor sensors, also equipped with peripheral circuitry including driver circuit and AD conversion function on the chip. *2

Overview of e-Nose type Odor imaging sensor chip prototype

Chip Die Size:3.2mm x 3.4mm
Sensor Area Size:1.2 mmx 1.2 mm
Sensor Element:240 x 240 Sensor Elements(57,600 Elements)
Chip-embedded Circuitry:Sensor Driver Circuit / AD Converter Circuit
Odor Receptor Membrane deposited:100 membranes

1. Miniaturization

With the 1.2 mm x 1.2 mm sensor area and 57,600 sensor elements, this transducer is the world’s smallest*1 and world’s highest density sensor array for e-Nose type odor sensors. The accompanying peripheral circuitry is also mounted on the chip, making it possible to easily incorporate the transducer into various devices.

2. Improved odor discrimination (odor resolution) performance

Aroma Bit’s proprietary technology of depositing multiple types of odor-receptor membranes on the above transducers results in an odor sensor that functions as an e-Nose.
In this successful prototype, Aroma Bit have demonstrated that it is possible to deposit more than 100 odor-receptor membranes on the above 1.2 mm x 1.2 mm sensor area, using super inkjet technology with the cooperation of SIJ Technology.
By making full use of these technologies, Aroma Bit plans to consider future product lineups with up to 40-50 different odor receptor membranes.

Figure 2 100 odor-receptor membrane deposited on the sensor array [courtesy of SIJ Technology]

Figure 3 Image of sensor chip embedded on mobile system

Future Development

This prototype can be used simultaneously with ScentifAI™, an odor identification application equipped with machine learning functions, to enable highly accurate odor identification and utilization of digital odor data. By using this application, it is possible to implement a highly accurate odor identification function that combines teacher data and judgment models, and to utilize other digital odor data.

・ScentifAI™ Service Overview:

With the aim of mass-producing the newly developed e-Nose type odor imaging sensor, Aroma Bit plans to propel market development by receiving samples of CMOS semiconductor type odor sensor elements from Toyohashi University of Technology, with which Aroma Bit is conducting joint research.

To be exhibited at Monodzukuri World Tokyo to be held June 19-21, 2024
The new prototype developed presented will be exhibited at the 6th Measurement, Inspection & Sensor Expo, Monozukuri World Tokyo, to be held June 19-21, 2024.

  Exhibition Title: MONOZUKURI WORLD TOKYO 6th
  Metrology, Inspection & Sensors Expo
  Date: June 19-21, 2024
  Venue: Tokyo Big Sight
  Booth No.: E9-9, East Hall 1


Aroma Bit plans, develops, and sells electronic devices such as miniature odor sensors and innovative new services using these electronic devices.

<Company Overview>
 Company Name:Aroma Bit, Inc.
 Address: Sagami Bldg. 2F, 7-13-6 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo,
 Management: Shunichiro Kuroki, Representative Director & CEO
 Established: February 2014
 Business Domains:
 Development and sales of compact odor imaging sensors and digital odor data.
 Planning, development, and sales of innovative products and services using the above sensors and data.

About SIJTechnology

<Company Overview>
 Company Name:SIJTechnology, Inc.
 Address: 1-2-14, Kenkyu-Gakuen, Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan
 Representative: Kazuhiro Murata, CEO
 Established: April, 2005
 Business Domains:
 Manufacture and sales of inkjet, spray and other dispensing systems
 Contract manufacturing using in-house dispensing technology
 Sales of ink and related products

*2 Toyohashi University of Technology, which has the technology to miniaturize the sensor chip, cooperated in making the chip smaller.

[For inquiries regarding this announcement]

Aroma Bit, Inc.
Public Relations Department
Attn: Matsumoto
TEL: 03-4455-4609

Development & Sales Department
Attn: Tashiro
TEL: 029-896-5110