Imaging & Detector Industry Report

Dec. 1, 2000
CMOS market share to increase; Bell and Howell sells imaging unit to Kodak; DRS aims at civilian market; CyberOptics acquires Imagenation ...

CMOS market share to increase
The market for image sensors surpassed $1 billion for the first time last year, according to Cahners In-Stat Group (Scottsdale, AZ). As the imaging market continues to grow over the next few years, In-Stat foresees that it will undergo an upheaval as CMOS image-sensor sales grow rapidly at the expense of CCD sales. Last year, CMOS sensors accounted for 7.2% of all image sensors shipped and 6.2% of revenues. The demand for low-cost cameras will drive the CMOS market share to 50.8% by 2004, accounting for 35.5% of revenues. With their higher image quality, CCDs will continue to dominate in several high-end applications. The average selling prices of both technologies will fall through 2004, but CMOS prices will drop further and more quickly, predicts In-Stat.

Bell and Howell sells imaging unit to Kodak
Bell and Howell Co. (Skokie, IL) is selling its worldwide imaging business to Eastman Kodak Co. (Rochester, NY) for $150 million in cash. The sale is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close before the end of this year. Products developed and marketed by the business unit include imaging software and hardware intended for document-management and bank-automation systems. Employing 850 people, the unit will become part of Eastman Kodak's document-imaging division.

DRS aims at civilian market
Best known for its defense-related imagers and electro-optics, DRS Technologies (Parsippany, NJ) is increasing its presence in the civilian world. The company has delivered its first retinal imaging system and will deliver more this year under a $4.1 million contract awarded by Optos plc (Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland). The high-resolution, widefield scanning laser ophthalmoscope will aid in the early detection of retinal disease. The instrument captures a retinal image within 0.25 s through an undilated pupil and without corneal contact or intense illumination.

CyberOptics acquires Imagenation
CyberOptics (Minneapolis, MN) has acquired Imagenation (Portland, OR), a privately held company specializing in the design and manufacture of machine-vision components and subsystems for industrial automation as well as for semiconductor and medical applications. CyberOptics develops optically based throughput-enhancement tools for the electronic-assembly and semiconductor-fabrication-equipment markets. Optical sensors and laser-based devices from CyberOptics will complement vision-based frame grabbers from Imagenation, as envisioned by George Fabel, president and CEO of Imagenation.

Photon Dynamics to buy IPS
Photon Dynamics (San Jose, CA) has signed an agreement to acquire Image Processing Systems (IPS; Markham, Ontario, Canada) for 1.3 million shares of newly issued Photon Dynamics common stock. Photon Dynamics makes flat-panel-display test-and-inspection equipment that includes array test systems, laser-based array repair systems, and cell- and module-inspection systems that check the pixels as they are lit. Image Processing Systems produces glass-inspection systems and automated display inspection and alignment systems. A Canadian subsidiary of Photon Dynamics will acquire voting control of IPS. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year 2000.

Also in the news . . .
Motorola (Shaumberg, IL) has awarded Universal Display Corp. (UDC; Ewing, NJ) licensing rights for Motorola technologies related to organic light-emitting devices, with Motorola receiving a minority stake in UDC. . . . The USS Oscar Austin, the first destroyer to contain flat-panel displays made by Sanders (Nashua, NH) has just set sail. . . . Micronas Semiconductor Holding AG (Zurich, Switzerland) has acquired the image and video consumer-electronics integrated-circuit operations of Infineon Technologies AG (Munich, Germany).

John Wallace

For more business news, subscribe to Optoelectronics Report. Contact Jayne Sears-Renfer at [email protected].

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