Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Day of Small News

PR Newswire: As has been reported earlier, a settlement between Lead Plaintiffs and OmniVision, Shaw Hong, Anson Chan, and Aurelio "Ray" Cisneros (the "Individual Defendants" and collectively, with OmniVision, the "Defendants") in the amount of $12,500,000 has been proposed by the Settling Parties. A hearing will be held before the United States District Judge on June 5, 2015.

Meanwhile, SeekingAlpha speculates about the chances that Omnivision buyout deal goes through:

"Officers and directors, as a group, own less than 5% of the company, and don't appear to be personally incentivized toward a sale. (CEO Shaw Hong, for instance, would earn profit about $2.7 million off a sale at $30, relative to current prices. His annual compensation has averaged $3.9 million over the last three years.)

In addition, it's not at all clear that such a buyout could get done. The federal government's Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) would likely be involved, and at least one expert sees the combination of foreign ownership and the inclusion of state-owned Shanghai Pudong Science as being a potential roadblock. An agreement now or in the near future could see the approval process run into the 2016 elections, when, as Derek Scissors told Barron's, "the general economic mood is anti-foreign and certainly anti-China."

Micro Market Monitor: The South American image sensor market, mainly driven by the increasing demand for cameras in smartphones and tablets, along with the increasing application of image sensors in the South American medical diagnostic and image sensor market was estimated to be $622.3 million in 2014 and is projected to reach $1,053.6 million by 2019 at a CAGR of 11.1% from 2014 to 2019.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Yole Word on Sony CCD End of Life

IMVEurope publishes thoughts by Yole Developpment analyst Pierre Cambou on Sony CCD end of life decision. One quote:

"It is always sad for technologists to watch the creative destruction of technology shifts. I believe this major transition will renew the innovation drive of the industry. Let’s buckle up for a new technology cycle. I am convinced we are not to be disappointed. CCD image sensors are dead, long live CMOS image sensors!"

Synopsys Announces Power-Efficient Vision Processing IP

PR Newswire: Synopsys announces its new DesignWare EV Family of vision processors. The EV52 and EV54 vision processors are fully programmable and configurable vision processor IP cores that deliver over 1000 GOPS/Watt power efficiency, said to be 5X better efficiency than other available vision processors. The cores can operate at up to 1 GHz in a typical 28nm process. The DesignWare EV52 and EV54 Processors are scheduled to be available in May 2015.

Toshiba Starts Mass Production of 1080p 2.7um Pixel HDR Sensor

Business Wire: Toshiba starts mass production of the previously announced 1/3-inch 1080p60 TCM3232PB sensor at the end of April. The PR stated the sensor HDR mode provides 108dB DR, while the flyer talks about 100dB:

Sunday, March 29, 2015

FLIR Lepton under SEM

Mikeselectricstuff posts a Youtube video of SEM imageinery of FLIR Lepton thermal sensor, the last stage of its teardown. See the previous stages here and here.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Night Vision Eye Drops

Engadget, Business Insider, Newsweek: The same group Science for the Masses that has shown the human vision extension to IR, now publishes another experiment showing night vision improvement with eyedrops. The group used Chlorin e6 cancer treatment substance mixed with insulin for their experiment. They claim that the eyedrops significantly enhance night time vision at distances up to 50 meters for a time of few hours.

The experimenter, Gabriel Licina describes his feelings "It’s subtle. It’s not like ‘oh my gosh I have super vision!’ It’s more like dark became dim, everything was a little brighter. Not a crazy noticeable light, burning and doom, but more a subtle, ‘oh I can see a thing!"

The adverse effects of the proposed solution have not been studied.

Friday, March 27, 2015

SPIE Award for Seek Thermal Camera

SPIE has published a video of its Prizm Award ceremony for Seek Thermal & Raytheon consumer-grade thermal camera, a competitor of FLIR One:

One can see a teardown of Seek Thermal camera and its comparison with FLIR One in mikeselectricstuff videos: Part 1 and Part 2, as well as the analysis of its thermal gradient artifacts.

Point Grey Comments on Sony CCD Line Closure

Point Grey confirms that Sony will discontinue operations of their CCD 200mm wafer line at Kagoshima Technology Center in Japan by the end of March 2017. This line is responsible for production of all Sony CCD image sensors used in Point Grey cameras. Point Grey did not confirm exact last-time buy (LTB) or last-time ship (LTS) dates for the affected CCDs, commenting that recently publicized dates of August 2015 and March 2020, respectively, should not be considered final. “Point Grey has been actively discussing details about the closure directly with Sony,” said Michael Gibbons, Director of Sales and Marketing at Point Grey. “This is a very dynamic situation and final details, including official last-time buy and ship dates, have not yet been released publicly by Sony. We caution our customers against making quick decisions based on preliminary information circulating the Internet.

Point Grey continues to see high and growing demand worldwide for both CCD and CMOS sensor technology, and believes that CCD technology will continue to play an important part in the imaging world for many years to come. “Our goal is to provide customers with three options,” said Gibbons. “First is to continue to buy their existing Sony CCD-based cameras for the natural lifespan of the systems they’re designed into. If customers are happy with these products there is no need to change. For those customers who still prefer CCD technology but want to explore alternatives to Sony, we are actively adding new CCDs from suppliers such as Sharp into our camera lineup. And finally, for those customers interested in the benefits of CMOS technology, we will continue to lead the charge in integrating image sensors from companies like Sony and On Semi into our products.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Xintec to List on Taiwan Stock Market

Digitimes: Image sensor wafer-level packaging house Xintec will be listed on the Taiwan over-the-counter (OTC) stock market at the end of March. Xintec is a TSMC and Visera affiliate and reported revenues of NT$4.93 billion (US$158M) for 2014. The company presentation gives some background info:

ST ToF Proximity Sensor Presentation

ST publishes a recorded video of its Google Hangout session on VL6180X ToF-based 3-in-1 proximity, gesture and ambient light sensor. The session took place today at 4:00 CET.