OMRON to release MEMS absolute pressure sensor with world-class sensitivity and power efficiency


Kyoto, Japan — OMRON Corporation (TOKYO: 6645; ADR: OMRNY) today announced the release in January 2013, of an absolute pressure sensor1 capable of accurately detecting 50cm altitudinal variations through highly precise sensing of air pressure fluctuation. By fully exploiting the latest MEMS technology, one of OMRON's core competencies, the company has developed an absolute pressure meter that, despite its subminiature dimensions, is among the world's most accurate and power efficient.

Through the integration of CMOS circuits and MEMS sensors, OMRON has been able to create an absolute pressure sensor measuring only 3.8mmx3.8mmx0.92mm, making it suitable for installation in small mobile devices and other compact hardware. The sensor's power efficiency also makes it well-suited for use in battery-operated applications such as smartphones and activity monitors2. Installing the pressure sensors in activity monitors will make it possible to take into account the altitudinal variation involved in one's daily activities and exercise such as climbing up and down stairs or hills, etc. Installing the sensors in car navigation systems will make it possible, for example, to provide accurate navigation guidance inside multistory car parks and also enable such systems to distinguish between elevated roadways and the ground level roads beneath them. The sensors can also be used in building security applications to detect fluctuations in air pressure due to, for example, a door opening or a window breaking.

OMRON also plans to release integrated CMOS-MEMS wafers to make it possible to install other sensors on the same board as the absolute pressure sensor.

OMRON will be exhibiting its new MEMS absolute pressure sensor at the Micromachine/MEMS ROBOTECH 2012 exhibition at Tokyo Big Sight from July 11 (Wed) to July 13 (Fri).

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  1. 1. Absolute pressure sensors measure air pressure relative to a vacuum.
  2. 2. Activity monitors are pedometers that not only measure the number of steps taken when walking or running but also the intensity of bodily movement during other energy-burning activities such as housework.


  1. Subminiature dimensions (3.8mmx3.8mmx0.92mm).
  2. Thanks to integration of CMOS circuitry and MEMS sensors, chip size is only 1.9mmx1.9mmx0.5mm.
  3. Wide detection range of 300hPa to 1100hPa.
  4. Able to accurately detect the relative difference of approximately 6pa in air pressure that exists between 50cm variations in altitude.
  5. Low current consumption of 0.5uA to 9.5uA: suitable for use in battery-operated devices (current consumption levels are dependent on measurement conditions and operating modes).
  6. A built-in temperature sensor can be used to adjust measurements to compensate for air pressure fluctuations that are due to changes in air temperature.
  7. I²C output, serial communications compatible.

Technical information

  1. ow OMRON's MEMS absolute pressure sensor measures air pressure
    OMRON's MEMS absolute pressure sensor employs piezoresistance technologies which the company has cultivated through long years of developmental work on digital blood pressure monitors.
    Piezoresistance technologies use the "piezoresistance effect" (the variation in resistivity of a resistive material when stress is applied to it) to convert pressure into an electrical signal. OMRON's pressure sensor detects variation in atmospheric pressure relative to a vacuum chamber created inside the sensor chip with MEMS bonding technology. Absolute pressure measurements are obtained by detecting the difference in pressure between the vacuum and external atmospheric pressure.

    Simplified cross section diagram of an absolute pressure sensor

  2. Technological features
    Thanks to the semiconductor circuit design technologies, CMOS process technologies, and MEMS technologies that OMRON has cultivated over many years, the company has also been able to integrate pressure sensors, analogue amplifier circuits, digital processing circuits, non-volatile memory, etc. onto single chips. The company has also been able to simultaneously reduce chip size, increase chip functionality, and enhance chip noise immunity, and through the use of MEMS bonding technology, they have been able to create a large vacuum chamber inside the body of the sensor chip itself to maximize the sensor's input dynamic range, and thereby increase the sensor's sensitivity.

  3. Altitudinal variation detection measurements
    Accurate detection of altitudinal variations as small as 50cm is possible.


OMRON's new MEMS absolute pressure sensor


Headquartered in Kyoto, Japan, OMRON Corporation is a global leader in the field of automation. Established in 1933, and headed by President Yoshihito Yamada, OMRON has more than 36,000 employees in over 35 countries working to provide products and services to customers in a variety of fields including industrial automation, electronic components, social systems, healthcare, and the environment. The company has regional head offices in Singapore (Asia Pacific), Beijing (Greater China), Amsterdam (Europe, Africa, and the Middle East), Chicago (the Americas), Gurgaon (India), and Sao Paulo (Brazil). For more information, visit OMRON's website at

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