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IMAGING Infrared

The highest resolution thermal camera for smartphones at 384 x 288 pixels, using a microbolometer with 17µm pixels from the South Korea’s I3system.

Thermal Expert Infrared Camera for Smartphones

Product code
EUR 3 490
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Based on a high definition microbolometer from I3system, the Thermal Expert infrared camera is a high-end product for smartphones. A more conservative technological choice, the microbolometer is more expensive but offers better performance. The camera also embraces the quality approach with interchangeable lenses for different uses. I3system targets the professional market and competes more in standard IR cameras than IR cameras for smartphones.

The Thermal Expert camera is very compact and compatible with Android smartphones via its micro-USB-OTG connector. The camera does not use a battery, with power being supplied by the smartphone. The camera is shutterless.

The thermal camera uses a new 17µm pixel design from I3system. The I3BOL384_17A microbolometer features 384 x 288 pixel resolution, 6 times the resolution of the FLIR Lepton 3. The sensor technology in the I3system component is a titanium oxide microbolometer, technology which is not covered by Honeywell patents. The I3BOL384_17A is the consumer version of a military microbolometer.

This report presents a complete teardown analysis of the Thermal Expert camera and its microbolometer. Based on this, it provides the bill-of-material (BOM) and manufacturing cost of the infrared camera. The report also offers a complete physical analysis and manufacturing cost estimate of the infrared module, including the lens module and the microbolometer itself.

The report’s final component is a comparison between the characteristics of the FLIR One, Seek Thermal, Therm-App and Thermal Expert cameras and Lepton, EXC001, PICO384P and I3BOL384_17A microbolometers. The comparison highlights differences in technical choices made by the companies.

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Overview / Introduction

Company Profile and Supply Chain

Technology and Cost Comparison with Competitor Products (FLIR, Seek Thermal/Raytheon, Opgal Therm-App/Ulis)

Physical Analysis

  • Synthesis of the Physical Analysis
  • Physical Analysis Methodology
  • Ceramic Package
    • Silicon window
  • IR Sensor
    • View, dimensions & marking
    • Pixel area overview
    • Contact
    • Pixel details (active,  compensation pixels)
  • ROIC Die
    • ROIC delayering and process
  • IR Sensor Cross-Section
    • Cross-section : ROIC
    • Cross-section : arm
    • Cross-section:  microbolometer

Manufacturing Process Flow

  • Global Overview
  • IR Sensor Wafer Fabrication Unit
  • ROIC
  • Microbolometer Process Flows
  • Package Process Flows

Cost Analysis

  • Main Steps of Economic Analysis
  • Yield Hypotheses
  • ROIC Front-End Cost
  • Microbolometer Front-End Cost
  • IR Sensor Wafer and Die Cost
  • I3BOL384_17A Cost

Estimated Price Analysis

  • Main Steps of Economic Analysis
  • Yield Hypotheses

Thermal Expert IR Camera

  • Camera Disassembly
  • Lens Module Analysis
  • Electronic Board and Camera – Bill Of Material and Material Cost
  • Electronic Board and Camera – Assembly Cost
  • Manufacturing Cost and Selling Price
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