SiOnyx (Cambridge, MA), a spinout of Harvard University, closed on an initial seed round of $750,000 from Harris and Harris Group (New York, NY) to commercialize optoelectronic products (detectors and imaging arrays) based on a unique material the company calls “black silicon.

Sep 1st, 2006

‘Black silicon’ gets funding

SiOnyx (Cambridge, MA), a spinout of Harvard University, closed on an initial seed round of $750,000 from Harris and Harris Group (New York, NY) to commercialize optoelectronic products (detectors and imaging arrays) based on a unique material the company calls “black silicon.”

Black-silicon-based detectors exhibit extremely high response to visible wavelengths and extend the useful range of silicon-based photodetectors into the infrared (IR) region. SiOnyx aims to address market opportunities in high-quality and high-resolution cameras, day/night cameras for security and surveillance, and high-sensitivity detectors and imagers for biotechnology applications.

e2v to acquire Atmel Grenoble

In a move that its directors say will strengthen its position as a major global provider of specialized electronic components and subsystems, e2v Technologies (Chelmsford, England) plans to buy Atmel Grenoble (Grenoble, France), a provider of image sensors and cameras, smart RF transceivers, aerospace-qualified microprocessors and broadband data converters, for $140 million in cash.

License agreement to aid solar ‘breakthrough’

NanoHorizons (State College, PA), developer of applied nanoscale materials and solutions, announced an exclusive agreement to license its “breakthrough” solar-cell technology to Solarity, a newly formed developer and manufacturer of photovoltaic cells. The technology enables photovoltaic-device builders to use an optimally thick layer of absorption material while simultaneously requiring a collection distance of only tens of nanometers versus tens of microns in today’s best two-layer cells. This breakthrough innovation eliminates the impact of absorption layer thickness on collection distance, a fundamental limitation in photovoltaic device design.

NAVAIR awards second IR-camera contract

Electrophysics (Fairfield, NJ) has been awarded a second contract by NAVAIR Weapons Division (China Lake, CA), for seven Emerald mid-wavelength infrared (MWIR) indium antimonide (InSb) cameras with an option to purchase one additional, to total eight. The cameras will be integrated into NAVAIR’s Man Portable Air Defense (MANPAD) program, designed specifically for force protection.

ICOS and IMEC collaborate on 3-D packaging

Inspection and vision solution company ICOS Vision Systems and IMEC, the independent research center in nanoelectronics and nanotechnology (both in Leuven, Belgium), will work together under a two-year Joint Exploration and Development Program (JEDP) in the field of inspection and metrology for three-dimensional (3-D) packaging. According to market analysts, the market for 3-D packaging will grow rapidly over the next few years, driven by the quest for smaller and higher-performance integrated circuits.

“We are impressed with IMEC’s research programs on semiconductor packaging and are delighted to join their international consortium,” said Gust Smeyers, ICOS’ senior VP for Research and Development.

Tyzx to improve vehicle/pedestrian safety

3-D vision company Tyzx (Menlo Park, CA) received a substantial investment from Takata (Tokyo, Japan), a global manufacturer of automotive safety systems with more than 33,000 employees worldwide.

Industry experts believe that vehicles with 3-D vision-safety features can help better protect drivers and passengers in collisions, help cars avoid accidents, keep vehicles in appropriate road lanes, and prevent many accidental backup injuries and fatalities, among other benefits. Future regulations will require additional measures to prevent pedestrian injury and could drive the need for systems that incorporate vision technology as developed by Tyzx and Takata.

Also in the news . . .

The Society for Information Display announced a new conference on mobile displays called the 2006 SID Hot Topics Conference, to be held in San Diego, CA, in October (see . . . Tamron (Saitama, Japan) and New Scale Technologies (Victor, NY) have signed a license agreement to use New Scale’s patented SQUIGGLE motors in Tamron’s optical imaging assemblies, which include digital cameras, camcorders, and mobile phone cameras. . . . The UK Industrial Vision Association (Royston, England) is expanding its scope of activity to actively encourage companies involved in scientific imaging applications to become members. . . . SolFocus (Palo Alto, CA) raised $25 million in venture capital funding to further develop its solar concentration technology that uses small lenses and curved mirrors to focus sunlight onto tiny, efficient germanium-based solar cells. . . . Roper Industries (Duluth, GA), provider of engineered products for global niche markets, including water and energy, has acquired Lumenera (Ottawa, ON, Canada), a developer and manufacturer of high-performance digital cameras and imaging solutions.

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