Flir agrees deal to distribute Lepton micro thermal cameras

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FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: FLIR), the pioneer of affordable uncooled LWIR cameras, has reached agreements with two prominent electronic component distributors, Digi-Key Electronics and Avnet, Inc., to make the FLIR Lepton® micro thermal camera available worldwide in single-unit quantities.

At 8.5 x 8.5 x 5.63 mm—small enough to fit on a dime—Lepton is FLIR’s most compact thermal camera module. It offers system engineers and product designers an affordable, turnkey solution for integrating thermal imaging into existing devices, as well as emerging platforms, such as robots, compact thermal security cameras, and micro UAVs. A breakthrough in wafer-scale packaging and optics, Lepton’s plug-and-play design simplifies product development and testing. It has an 80 x 60 FPA, but requires only 150mW of power, uses MIPI and SPI video interfaces, and has both a two-wire serial control interface and a 32-pin socket interface to connector.

“Because of Lepton’s unprecedented size, low cost, and low power consumption, thermal technology can now be used in ways once considered impossible,” said Bill Terre, Vice President and General Manager of OEM and Emerging Markets at FLIR. “We are eager to make Lepton available to the innovators who will use it in exciting new ways, ushering in a golden age of thermal imaging innovation.”

Lepton is available in three variations. Two shutterless models offer a choice of either a 50° or 25° field-of-view (FOV) lens, and a third model contains a 50° FOV lens with a built-in shutter that automatically recalibrates the camera. The addition of the shutter spares OEM developers from having to invest in additional technology to achieve non-uniformity correction. Each Lepton also offers optional temperature-stable output to support radiometric processing and is export-compliant (<9Hz).

Digi-Key will start distributing the Lepton in late April, with Avnet beginning their distribution in May. The ability to buy an individual FLIR thermal camera core through Digi-Key and Avnet represents a watershed moment in the industry. A decade ago, the cost of thermal camera components was beyond the reach of most consumers. With Lepton, however, thermal cameras modules are now as accessible as power resistors, Wifi boards, and microchips. Along with individual Lepton units, Digi-Key and Avnet will also sell a Lepton Starter Kit that will include a small, pocket-sized demo camera for rapid prototyping and proof of concepts.

Lepton is already being used in a number of FLIR products, including the FLIR ONE™ accessory for Android devices and Apple iPhones and iPads equipped with a lightning port, the FLIR TG 165 Visual IR Thermometer, the AX8 machine vision temperature sensor, the FLIR C2 pocket-sized thermography camera, and the FLIR TCX Mini Bullet security camera.