May 1, 2007
Infrared detector manufacturer Sofradir (Veurey-Voroize, France) signed a $4.2 million contract with NEC Toshiba Space Systems to supply a custom-made bispectral long-wave-infrared detector.

Sofradir gets LWIR detector contract

Infrared detector manufacturer Sofradir (Veurey-Voroize, France) signed a $4.2 million contract with NEC Toshiba Space Systems to supply a custom-made bispectral long-wave-infrared detector. Sofradir’s LWIR detector will be used on the Second Generation Global Imager (SGLI), an observation instrument for the Global Change Observation Mission (GCOM). The GCOM is a satellite observation project of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. The SGLI will be used to conduct detailed global monitoring of the ground surface and middle and lower atmospheres, allowing scientists to observe and better predict global environmental changes.

Fairchild Imaging teams with Supertex on CCDs

To strengthen its position in the high-performance imaging market, Fairchild Imaging (Milpitas, CA) has entered into a strategic teaming relationship with Supertex (Sunnyvale, CA) for custom foundry services. The multiyear agreement combines the specialty foundry of Supertex with Fairchild Imaging’s team of image sensor designers.

The agreement further transitions Fairchild Imaging from an integrated device manufacturer to a fabless semiconductor model. Fairchild Imaging began the transition in 2003 when it recognized the need to balance its portfolio with both CCD and CMOS image sensors to allow the company to deliver the right imaging technology with the best value to the marketplace. Supertex has licensed Fairchild Imaging’s intellectual property for the manufacture of large area CCD imagers and the two companies have established a close working relationship to rapidly deliver devices to the marketplace.

Headwall collaborates on spectral imaging

ChemImage (Pittsburgh, PA),a developer of hyperspectral chemical, Raman, and fluorescence imaging technologies for chemical and biological applications, and Headwall Photonics, a supplier of integrated spectrometer systems for hyperspectral imaging and chemical sensing are collaborating to leverage their core technologies. Using Headwalls’ technology platform, ChemImage will provide application-specific chemical imaging solutions. ChemImage and Headwall will jointly develop new spectroscopic imaging products for the pharmaceutical, materials characterization, and forensic markets.

In related news, Headwall Photonics was awarded the 2006 Frost & Sullivan Product Innovation Award for its Hyperspec spectral-imaging products.

Solar-energy projects selected for initiative

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Samuel W. Bodman announced the selection of 13 industry-led solar-technology development projects to negotiate with the department for as much as $168 million in federal funding for FY 2007-09. Once finalized, the projects will be the first agreements reached under President George W. Bush’s Solar America Initiative (SAI).

Federal funding for the projects is subject to appropriation from Congress. The teams selected for negotiation have formed Technology Pathway Partnerships (TPP), which include companies, laboratories, universities, and nonprofit organizations to accelerate the drive toward commercializing U.S.-produced solar-photovoltaic (PV) systems and reduce the cost of electricity produced by PV from current levels of 18 to 23 cents per kWh to a more competitive 5 to 10 cents per kWh by 2015.

Insight Media and USDC release 3-D report

With support from the U.S. Display Consortium (USDC; San Jose, CA), Insight Media (Norwalk, CT) released a new report, “3-D Technology and Markets; A Study of All Aspects of Electronic 3-D Systems, Applications and Markets.” The report finds that recent advances in three-dimensional (3-D) display technologies have given image quality equal to the best liquid-crystal-display (LCD) monitors and televisions in an acceptable price range for professionals and consumers. This indicates that key pieces of the 3-D puzzle are falling into place, resulting in the adoption of 3-D systems in several key market segments.

The report documents the current state of the 3-D industry and provides industry revenue forecasts through 2011. The report also includes a list of more than 650 companies, universities, consortia, and standards bodies involved in 3-D systems, with profiles on 26 of them.

Also in the news . . .

The International Imaging Industry Association (I3A; White Plains, NY), an association for the imaging industry, conferred its annual Leadership Award upon Antonio M. Perez, chairman and CEO of the Eastman Kodak Company. . . . Mayville Products (Mayville, WI) acquired EMI Security Products for its line of camera housings for the security marketplace. . . . FotoNation (Burlingame, CA), an imaging and connectivity solutions company for the digital photography industry, was selected by Samsung Techwin to provide its patent-pending “Face Tracker” technology for Samsung’s new Wide digital camera line.

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