Home Resource Center Newsletters Optical Innovations News Internet of Things The Internet of Things Materion Sensors Boost Interconnectivity The concept of an interconnected world, driven by trillions of embedded sensors, is already well underway. According to ABI Research, the number of interconnected wireless devices was over 16 billion in 2014, up 20% over 2013. By 2020, they are predicting there will be over 40 billion interconnected devices, with a lot of that growth coming from sensors and sensor hubs. Industry Changes To facilitate this growth in sensor interconnectivity, the major network infrastructure companies have modified the protocol with several new layers, making it much easier and cheaper to connect devices and sensors. Thanks to the increased volumes and advancements in manufacturing methods, sensor costs have dropped considerably. Many of these sensors that will be deployed are optical sensors such as those fabricated by Materion Precision Optics. Technology Investments A critical aspect of driving down cost in optical sensors is changes to optical sensor packaging technology. Many companies are moving towards wafer level packaging which can significantly reduce costs and enable much higher volumes. To support this industry trend, over the last several years Materion Precision Optics has invested in our wafer handling proficiency and infrastructure for performing selective, wafer level optical coatings. We have built class 1000 clean room facilities and installed a semiconductor quality photolithography processing capability. Combined with the ability to take very complex coatings and translate them into high volume, wafer level processes, Materion has taken a step in bridging the gap between the optical coating and semiconductor worlds and has created a unique, state of the art capability. Future Sensors While the journey to a fully interconnected world may still be years away, the building blocks are already being put in place. We will see an ever increasing number of sensors built into our consumer electronics, our automobiles and even the clothes we wear. This revolution is being driven by improvements in sensors in both automation and quality. Materion’s ability to create highly precise, wavelength selective optical filters will be at the forefront of enabling enhanced functionality and performance in these future sensors. For more information about our wafer level optical coatings, please contact Michael Zasowski, Sr. Director of Marketing, Michael.Zasowski@Materion.com.