Sensor chip could lead to safer homes

The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute has developed a computer chip that can recognize sound and motion, perhaps paving the way for better remote inspection systems and greater safety for inspectors.

The state-run research center said yesterday that it had developed the high-performance micro controller unit. This tiny computer chip can control the operation of certain devices.
Existing chips can only sense temperature, precipitation levels and smoke. They are used in devices such as fire detectors. The new chip is designed to be part of a sensor network that can be used wirelessly.
Since its new functions include sound and video recognition, the chips could be used, for instance, in sensors for closed-circuit televisions to detect calls for help. The sensors can then transmit the information wirelessly to emergency responders.

Current micro controller units are mostly imports, which the newly-developed chip could replace, the institute said in a release.
The development was part of a larger project by the Ministry of Information and Communication to develop the chips and the sensor network system.
The research institute expects commercialization of the chips to begin in the second half of 2007.
by Wohn Dong-hee for JoongAng Daily

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