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What is a CMOS SWIR Sensor?

SWIR (Short-Wave Infrared) refers to the wavelength region of 900-2500nm. Traditional silicon sensors have an upper limit of approximately 1100nm. SWIR detection often requires camera components made of exotic materials. For example, Indium Gallium Arsenide (InGaAs) sensors (~900-1700nm range) are inherently expensive and often face challenges scaling to smaller pixel pitches and higher resolution arrays. 

CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) is used in integrated circuits to to convert photons to electrons, in other terms what converts energy to create an image. A pure CMOS-based sensor is capable of SWIR wavelength detection without the use of expensive semiconductor materials, making it a cost-effective technology that enables seamless integration.

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What can a QPD™ SWIR camera do?

Medium Material Detection

SWIR wavelengths are absorbed and reflected according to the material, therefore you can detect things hidden in visible light.

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Package Component Detection

Certain plastics or objects become transparent using SWIR cameras, useful for fill detection and quality control

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Non-invasive Blood Vein Detection

SWIR enables non-invasive bio-signal data to see beyond skin for health diagnostic or secure biometric authentication.

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Packaging Inspection

Differing package materials become transparent using SWIR cameras, useful for content inspection and quality control.

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Edge Detection

Edge Detection is vital to future of machine vision and pattern recognition. Industries ranging from automotive and agriculture to distribution and warehousing can all benefit from accurate edge detection. Edge detection enables AI within vehicles to identify and differentiate the silhouette of a box or bag from that of a child or pet crossing the street.



Added Image Data

SWIR extends imaging capabilities beyond what is visible to the naked eye–enabling image data to be captured in any light setting.


Higher Resolution + Contrast

SWIR's region of the light spectrum produces images with higher resolutions when compared to NIR and MWIR imagery.

Temperature Observation

Lower SWIR wavelengths nearing the mid-wave IR (MWIR) spectrum can capture energy emitted from objects (ability to provide thermal data).

Identification and Detection

Infrared absorbance, reflectance, and transmission can help identify and differentiate organic and non-organic materials.

Extended Visibility

SWIR sensors' ability to detect smaller light photons makes them less susceptible to scattering, allowing them to penetrate through smoke, haze, or fog and produce a clearer image.

QPD™ use-case examples

Bio-Medical/Health & Biometric

Combining visual and SWIR imaging provides information on skin and tissue surfaces, offering a safer medical diagnostic, health monitoring, and secure biometric solution.


Current Advanced Driver Assistance Systems and Autonomous Vehicles rely on radar and visible cameras, but often fail to provide an accurate view and detection of driving, road, and environmental hazards. SWIR imaging can provide accurate detection for safer, more reliable ADAS/AV systems.

Industrial & Machine Vision

The industrial automation and digitization of manufacturing is currently limited by the input image data provided by image sensor hardware.