11 Jun 2007
A new, slimmer version of Varioptic's Arctic lens will be integrated into STMicroelectronics' camera modules.
Varioptic, the French developer of liquid-lens technology, has announced a licensing agreement with STMicroelectronics that will see its liquid lenses used in the French chipmaker's CMOS-based camera modules.
Under the terms of the agreement, ST will use Varioptic's liquid-lens technology to add auto-focus capability to a family of camera modules targeting the growing market for camera phones. Additionally, ST will be able to manufacture liquid lenses in its own facilities.
"The agreement covers a new, slimmer version of Varioptic's Arctic liquid lens which will soon be manufactured in ST's own facilities for integration into ST's camera modules," Susan Donahue explained to optics.org. "This agreement is in addition to Varioptic's existing licensing deal with Samsung Electro Mechanics, Korea, for production of the liquid lenses. Mass production of the Artic liquid lenses will also continue at Creative Sensors in Wuxi, China."
The major market for liquid lenses is integration into camera modules of 2 megapixels or higher in slimline camera phones. Varioptic is currently working with several other camera module manufacturers, which could lead to further licensing agreements in the future. Other applications will also follow.
"Varioptic invests heavily in research and development to further develop innovative products for various applications in consumer devices, such as web cams and PDAs, as well as industrial devices like bar-code readers and diagnostic instruments," commented Donahue.