[CEATEC 2012] The ROHM CIGS (Copper indium gallium (di)selenide) Near-Infrared sensor provides the ability to see near-infrared light waves that are normally invisible to the naked eye. By capturing near-infrared light, it is possible to see through layers of matter without having to use harmful radiations like X-rays. In some ways, it is similar to techniques used to observe space through thick clouds of dust.
Because the ROHM CIGS near-infrared image sensor gathers near-infrared light even in very dim lighting conditions, there is no need for special equipment or high-power energy source, which makes it more cost-efficient than other see-through solutions. A see-through near-infrared CIGS device may cost an order of magnitude less than competing technologies.
Although there are possible medical or biometric applications (by recognizing unique vein patterns in live organic tissues), the immediate use for this CIGS near-infrared sensor is likely to be in the electronics business where the sensor may help with the detection of chip/electronics defects.