Thursday, September 03, 2015

AR Startup Magic Leap Publishes 115 Patent Applications in 2 Weeks

re/code, Fortune: AR startup Magic Leap known by a high profile Google investment at a valuation of $2 billion, managed to publish 115 patent applications in just 2 weeks from Aug. 20 to Sept 3. None of these patents relates to image sensors, but Magic Leap's product uses cameras and gesture recognition quite extensively, as shown in the company's Youtube video:

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

SENSORS Journal Special Issue on Photon-Counting Image Sensors

IISS announces it is preparing a special issue of the journal SENSORS on Photon-Counting Image Sensors to be published in Spring 2016. The issue will contain all invited papers and all will be open-access. Invited authors (up to 20 due to budget) will not be charged any publication fee, open-access fee, or page charges for this special issue, which is sponsored by SENSORS and IISS. The Guest-Editor-in-Chief for the special issue is Eric Fossum (Dartmouth) with guest editors Albert Theuwissen (Delft and Harvest Imaging) and Nobu Teranishi (Univ. Hyogo and Shizuoka University). While there is already a list of potential invited speakers, there may be room for a few more and anyone wishing to be considered for an invited paper should contact Eric Fossum: fossum at imagesensors.org with a very brief proposal as soon as possible. Interest is in deep sub-electron read noise (less than 0 .5e-) devices and readout circuits, including low capacitance devices, devices with avalanche gain, multiple-sampling devices, low temperature devices, high energy photon counting devices as well as image formation algorithms and applications.

The IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices Special Issue on Solid-State Image Sensors (also coordinated by IISS, with Albert Theuwissen as Guest-Editor-in-Chief) is scheduled for publication in February 2016. Many of the 25+ IEEE TED SI papers are already available via early access on-line at IEEE Xplore, but only some are open-access.

Gestigon Closes Third Financing Round

gestigon GmbH, a startup based in Lübeck, Germany, has announced that it closed a third financing round (Series A) in July 2015. The lead investor is nbr technology ventures GmbH, with additional investments from Vorwerk Direct Selling Ventures and High-Tech-Gründerfonds. According to CEO Moritz v. Grotthuss, the amount raised in this round was “several million” USD.

The company will use the funds to accelerate growth in its business, which is focused on licensing its gesture control and skeleton tracking middleware to key corporates in the automotive (where it has assumed global market leadership), consumer electronics, and augmented/virtual reality industries. It now has plans to expand into the rapidly growing field of augmented- and virtual reality solutions, including head mounted devices.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

ADAS Acronyms

As ADAS becomes a bigger and more important market for image sensor, Videantis publishes a list of ADAS-related acronyms helping you to navigate in the automotive world. Few examples of this new parlance showing how broad the car camera applications are:

  • ANV – Automotive Night Vision. Also known as Night View Assist.
  • APS – Automatic Parking System
  • BSD – Blind Spot Detection
  • BSM – Blind Spot Monitoring
  • BSW – Blind Spot Warning
  • BOP – Back-over Protection, Back-over Prevention
  • CIB – Crash Imminent Braking, Collision Imminent Braking
  • CDW – Collision Detection Warning
  • CAS – Collision Avoidance System
  • CMS – Camera Monitor System
  • CTA – Cross-Traffic Alert
  • DDW – Drowsy Driver Warning
  • DFW – Driver Fatigue Warning
  • DDD – Driver Drowsiness Detection
  • DMS – Driver Monitoring System
  • EDA – Emergency Driver Assistant
  • FCA – Forward Collision Avoidance
  • FCW – Forward Collision Warning
  • GFHB – Glare-free High Beam
  • HLA – Head Lamp Assist
  • ISA – Intelligent Speed Adaptation, Intelligent Speed Advice
  • LCA – Lane Change Assist, Lane Centering Assist
  • LD – Lane Detection
  • LDW – Lane Departure Warning
  • LKA – Lane Keeping Assist
  • RVC – Rear view camera
  • SVC – Surround View Camera
  • WWDA – Wrong-Way Driving Alert
  • WWDW – Wrong-Way Driving Warning

There are many more of them on Videantis site, accompanied by the nice explanations.

Monday, August 31, 2015

ULIS Pico384 Gen2 Promotional Video

ULIS publishes a Youtube promotional video of its Pico384 Gen2 thermal image sensor:

EVG Reports Strong Growth in Image Sensor Stacking Machinery

PRNewswire: EV Group (EVG) announces that the company is experiencing strong demand for its automated 300-mm polymer adhesive wafer bonding systems. Over the past 12 months, the company's order intake has doubled for these systems, including the EVG560, GEMINI and EVG850 TB/DB series of wafer bonders, includes multiple orders from foundries and outsourced semiconductor assembly and test providers headquartered in Asia. Much of the increase in demand is being fueled by advanced packaging manufacturers ramping up production of CMOS image sensors with TSV interconnects.

EVG560

Intel Invests in Almalence

PRNewswire: Almalence announces that it has received an investment from Intel Capital. The funds will be used by Almalence to develop the next generation mobile imaging technology enabling mobile cameras to achieve the image quality level of DSLR cameras. Intel and Almalence have also entered into a strategic collaboration to bring Almalence's technology to Intel's architecture.

Almalence is a privately owned company with headquarters in Austin, Texas and the team distributed across the world - USA, Russia, Israel, China and South Korea. The company was founded in 2005 by Russian engineers Dmitry Shmunk and Eugene Panich, and has a track record of working with global mobile device manufacturers, such as Huawei and Sharp. Almalence's R&D activity is concentrated in Novosibirsk, Russia.

Eugene Panich, CEO of Almalence said: "Working with Intel will help us to enter a new stage in product development as we take the image quality of mobile cameras to new heights."

Arjun Kapur, Intel CVP, Platform Engineering Group, and GM, Imaging and Camera Technologies Group, said: "We look forward to working with Almalence to deliver such capabilities to the Intel mobile ecosystem."

Here is a Youtube video presenting Amalence Supersensor technology:

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Yole Interviews Sunex on ADAS Cameras

Yole Developpement publishes an interview with Peter Hark, Director of Automotive Sales and Marketing at Sunex. Few quotes:

"The low-end of [ADAS] market concerning rear view cameras is very mature and not very dynamic. The high-end is more about high resolution surround-view cameras from which images are stitched together to give a bird’s eye view of a car, i.e. for parking assist purposes. This area is enjoying high growth. Another growth area are forward-facing cameras which, due to new regulations (especially NCAP in Europe, but also in the U.S.), are being increasingly adopted.

At Sunex, we’ve developed what we call the NoGhost technology, which is able to reduce straylight effects. This has great value for HDR sensors. <...> Likewise thermally-compensated optics add value to computer vision applications such as forward sensing cameras where they can extend the operational temperature range.
"

Sunex Youtube video shows its NoGhost lens advantages:

Friday, August 28, 2015

IHS Sees Bright Future for Gesture Control

IHS publishes a nice infographics on gesture control market:

Yole Report on Camera Module Market

Yole Developpement publishes 2015 Camera Module Industry Report. The Compact Camera Module (CCM) market is forecasted to double in the next five years.

"Driven by mobile and automotive applications, the CCM industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 16.8% from 2014 - 2020, reaching a total aggregate revenue of US$51B by 2020.

Automotive module revenue reached $1.2B in 2014, and growing at a CAGR of 36% should reach $7.9B by 2020. This exceptional growth has mainly benefited the CCM industry’s second-tier players, but the response of market leaders will be worth watching.

There is a different market trajectory for the lens and sensor markets, which are now maturing at ~14% CAGR with the emergence of giant billion-dollar companies. The CCM and auto-focus manufacturing markets, which are still very fragmented and growing at ~20% CAGR, should experience consolidation over the next five years.

The current CCM industry is controlled by Asian firms, mainly Korean and Japanese, but we’re also witnessing the rise of Chinese firms and the restructure of Taiwanese firms. An ongoing price war has leveled the market, and most players have operations in China or Vietnam.
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