LG Innotek, a mobile device component affiliate of LG Group, said on Feb. 16 that it has successfully developed the world’s best super-slim heartbeat sensor module. Heartbeat sensors in wearable devices and smartphones are widely used to measure body status information such as heart rate, stress index and oxygen saturation rate.
The company said the new heartbeat sensor module is thinner, consumes less energy and has improved accuracy. Accordingly, users can be now provided more accurate body information.
The key in wearable device technologies is to downsize devices while minimizing electricity consumption. Because users should wear the devices to use them, wearable devices cannot be popular no matter how excellent they are functionally if they are cumbersome and consume too much energy.
LG Innotek said its heartbeat sensor combines a photo diode (PD), light-emitting diodes (LED) and a semiconductor chip in a single module only 1 millimeter thick. When applied to wearable devices and smartphones, this module will allow for slimmer and freer designs.
The company said it has used printed circuit board (PCB) embedded technology to reduce the thickness. It is the technology that embeds a semiconductor chip in PCB. Previously, there was a limit to reduce the thickness of module since a semiconductor chip, which processes living body signals, should be mounted on PCB and other components, including PD, afterward.
The new heartbeat sensor module is much thinner but consumes less energy compared to existing modules. It measures the blood flow rate with LED lights and minimizes light loss inside. As the efficiency for light utilization increases, the living body signal reception capability has been improved by 30 percent compared to existing modules, and thus can detect accurate bio-signals with less energy. When using this module, it can operate with about 20 percent less energy consumption.
The company also said the module has higher measurement accuracy. It said the module can measure pulse within an error range of 5 beats per minute (bpm) during exercise and within an error range of 2 bpm at a steady state, which is comparable to that of medical devices.
When a user measures the heart rate with wearable devices during exercise, existing modules have an error range of 8 bpm. If the actual heart rate of the user is 120 bpm, existing modules of wearable devices will show the figure from 112 to 128 bpm. LG Innotek’s heartbeat sensor module improves the figure from 115 to 125 bpm.
LG Innotek Develops Ultra Slim Optical Bio Sensor Module.
Seoul, Korea, Feb 16th, 2016 – LG Innotek, a leading global components and materials manufacturer, announced the development of an ultra slim optical bio sensor module with the world class level of performance.
The optical bio sensor module is mainly adopted wearable devices and smartphones to measure heart rates, stress indices, and oxygen saturation levels.
This newly developed module has lower power consumption and measures data with higher accuracy than the existing products. Users can receive more accurate biometric information with smaller devices.
The key to wearable technology is reducing the size of the device and minimizing power consumption. No matter how excellent device’s feature is, if a wearable device is bulky and the battery wears out rapidly, it is difficult to popularize.
With a thickness of just 1 mm(0.04inches), this module includes a Photo Diode(PD), 5 LEDs, and Integrated Circuit(IC). Thinner sensors allow wearable devices and smartphones to be-come thinner, and a more free design is implemented.
To minimize the thickness of the module, LG Innotek utilized their advanced embedded PCB technology. The technology embeds integrated circuits into the PCBs. The Former modules were manufactured by mounting the IC on the PCB and then seating the photo diode on top of it. This approach has its limits when it comes to reducing the thickness.
The module consumes less power with ultra-slim thickness. The inside is gold-plated to max-imize luminance efficiency by minimizing the amount of LED light that is absorbed. With this module, the strength of the biometric signals increases by about 30%, so you can use low power to accurately detect biometric signals. Battery consumption has been reduced by 20% compared to the existing module.
The accuracy of the measured information has also been improved. This new sensor mod-ule's range of error for measured data is ±5 bpm during exercise and even in stable condition, it can measure data within an error range of ±2 bpm which is comparable to that of medical devices.
When the user measures their heart rates using a wearable device, the existing module’s range of error while exercising is ±8 bpm (beats per minute). If the user's heart rate is actually 120 bpm, the heart rate readings measured by the wearable device will be between 112 and 128 bpm. This module increased its accuracy up to 115~125 bpm.
The LG Innotek sensor module was developed by converging differentiated technologies such embedded PCBs and LEDs.
The company combined its technologies, expanded business areas, and strengthened its portfolio by discovering new growth engines.
"The core part of IoT (Internet of Things) is the sensor that enables information sharing. We will develop high-tech sensors and use them in automobiles, consumer electronics, wearable devices, and other things to lead the IoT industry," said Changhwan Kim, Executive Director of the Components and Materials R&D Center.