Miniaturized and Energy-Efficient Ultrasonic Sensor Technology

Ultrasonic sensor technology has been a powerful tool for optical applications for decades, for example in the automotive and medical technology sectors. Compared to conventional piezo-based ultrasonic transducers, novel capacitive micromechanical ultrasonic transducers (CMUT) offer completely new perspectives in terms of miniaturization, operation in high frequency ranges as well as integration possibilities with interface electronics.

Circuit board for ultrasonic sensor technology
© Fraunhofer EMFT / Bernd Müller
Circuit board for ultrasonic sensor technology

To exploit the unique advantages of such CMUTs, researchers at Fraunhofer EMFT develop application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC) for the interface transceiver with low power consumption and area efficiency. A multi-channel ASIC with integrated high-voltage driver circuits and low-noise preamplifiers can be interfaced with a 2D array of CMUTs for various applications. This also enables monolithic or hybrid integration of sensor electronics into a small system.

CMUTs require a high voltage biasing during the transmit and receive operation. Conventionally this high biasing voltage is applied externally using a low-pass filter. The new approach developed at Fraunhofer EMFT eliminates the need for external components to bias the CMUTs by using a two-level pulse scheme.

These competences in the area of transceiver ASICS for ultrasonic sensors are available at Fraunhofer EMFT for your application topics. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Service Offering: IC Design and Layout


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Project: Ultrasound-based Proximity Sensors