06 Jan 2006
Including news from Kodak, Carl Zeiss, Samsung, ACOL Technologies and more.
General company news:
• Carl Zeiss and Jabil Circuit have formed a joint venture to develop and manufacture optical subsystems for the display industry. "Our technical and manufacturing capabilities coupled with the optics and light processing experience of Carl Zeiss will give us a leading role in the growing optical module and optical engine market," said Scott Brown of Jabil.
• Irvine Sensors, a developer of infrared cameras, has acquired fellow US firm Optex systems for $14 million in cash. Optex manufactures optical sighting systems and assemblies primarily for defense applications. Its 2005 revenues were around $19 million. The deal involves a further $4 million payable over the next 3 years if cash flow milestones are maintained.
• Samsung has begun mass production at its second 7th generation (7G) TFT-LCD facility. Line 7-2 will produce panels for 32" LCD televisions and production capacity is expected to grow from 45,000 to 90,000 substrates per month by the end of 2006. The Korean firm's other 7G line, 7-1, is operated through its joint venture with Sony, called S-LCD.
• Motorola and Kodak have announced a 10 year product and licensing alliance. As part of the collaboration, Kodak expects to supply CMOS sensors to Motorola for use in camera phones and other mobile imaging devices.
• MagnaChip Semiconductor of Korea has launched a high-performance 2 megapixel (1600 x 1200) CMOS image sensor for the cell phone market. The chip operates at 15 frames per second (fps) at full resolution and 30 fps at VGA resolution. Mass production expected to begin late in the first quarter of 2006. "2006 is the year for high volume mainstream 2 megapixel [devices]," said Jason Hartlove of MagnaChip. "This single chip system allows OEMs to affordably upgrade their 1.3 megapixel systems."