Imaging & Detector Industry Report

Nov. 1, 2003
MIT lab wins $7 million NIH imaging grant; Symposium showcases EMCCD imaging; Strong growth projected for image-sensor market; MORE...

MIT lab wins $7 million NIH imaging grant

The George R. Harrison Spectroscopy Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT; Cambridge, MA) has been awarded a $7.2 million Bioengineering Research Partnership grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to further develop and implement spectroscopic techniques for imaging and diagnosing dysplasia in the cervix and mouth. The award, which is sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, builds on diagnostic technologies that have been developed at the Spectroscopy Laboratory over the past decade. Michael Feld, the Spectroscopy Laboratory director, will head the project and Kamran Badizadegan, a pathologist and cell biologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, will be co-principal investigator.

According to Feld, the Spectroscopy Lab has developed a portable instrument that delivers low-level laser energy and white light through an endoscopic fiberoptic probe onto the patient's tissue, analyzing tissue over a 1-mm region. The device has shown promise in clinical trials, accurately identifying invisible precancerous changes in the colon, bladder, esophagus, cervix, and oral cavity. A second device, which has not yet been tested on patients, reportedly can image precancerous features over areas of tissue up to a few centimeters in diameter.

Symposium showcases EMCCD imaging

Approximately 50 research scientists from 11 countries gathered recently for the first symposium to focus on the application and development of electron-multiplying charge-coupled device (EMCCD) technology. Hosted by Queen's University (Belfast, Ireland), the symposium also showcased the first camera to incorporate the new imaging technology. Known as iXon, the device was developed by event sponsors, Andor Technology (Belfast).

EMCCD technology allows scientists to observe single molecules, living cells, and faint distant stars in real time with greater clarity than conventional imaging equipment. It promises to have a major impact across a wide range of disciplines including live cell microscopy, drug discovery, neurosurgery, atomic computing, and structural engineering. According to Hugh Cormican, managing director of Andor Technology, although the iXon camera was launched only last year, it is now in routine use in several applications including genomics, drug discovery, single-molecule detection, fluorescence studies, and low light microscopy.

Strong growth projected for image-sensor market

The market for image sensors continues to promise impressive growth, with new applications in cell phones, vehicles, tetherless endoscopes, and fingerprint recognition just getting off the ground, according to a new market study released by Strategies Unlimited (Mountain View, CA). CMOS sensors are gaining sales in both high- and low-end applications, for different reasons. But according to Tom Hausken, director of research at Strategies Unlimited, it will take longer than expected for CMOS sensors to uproot CCDs from cell phone designs, given the more expensive technology that must be used to match the size and quality of CCD imagers for that application. And it will still take several years to reach significant volumes in some of the coveted applications. The report, Image Sensor Market Review and Forecast-2003, projects that the imager market will exceed $2.6 billion in 2003 and continue to grow to $4.0 billion by 2007.

Strategic pact supports smart cameras

Coreco (Monreal, Quebec, Canada) signed a multiyear strategic agreement with Tokyo Electronic Industry (TELI), a subsidiary of Toshiba (Tokyo, Japan), to supply its smart-camera technology to TELI. Under this exclusive supply agreement, which relates to the smart-vision appliances developed by Coreco's Intelligent Products Group, Coreco's products will be customized with TELI's sensor technology.

Introduction of the combined product is scheduled to take place in December in Japan.

Also in the news . . .

The Imaging Solutions Group (ISG; Rochester, NY) has formed a relationship with Taeym Digital Vision of Belgium, which will extend ISG's capacity to market its Lightwise Camera products to the European machine-vision industry for applications in the automobile, aviation, equipment, electronics, and pharmaceutical industries. . . . DALSA (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada) received a $1.9 million development contract from a leading manufacturer of semiconductor wafer inspection systems. Under terms of the contract, DALSA will produce high-performance digital cameras that will be used to inspect semiconductor wafers at extremely high speeds and low light levels. . . . CEDIP Infrared Systems (Croissy-Beaubourg, France) has been named the 28th fastest growing French company (out of 100) by Entreprendre, a leading European business magazine. CEDIP reported a 77% increase in sales and 80% increase in profits between 2002 and 2001.

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