Imaging & Machine Vision Europe interviews Gareth Powell, marketing manager for the high performance imaging division at e2v on image sensor development in Europe. Few quotes:
"Dense clusters of imaging players exist in various regions throughout Europe. Grenoble, France is one example where advanced technologies covering everything from x-rays to terahertz imaging are developed. Consumer imaging giants like STMicroelectronics, with its state-of-the-art, high-volume CMOS imaging fab, are also in the region.
Other players focused on more specialist and industrial imaging applications like e2v, Ulis/Sofradir, Trixell/Thales TED, and innovation centres like CEA-Leti, also form what has become known as ‘the Imaging Valley’. This breeds a rich ecosystem for start-ups like Isorg, which are innovating in the field of organic image sensors. Similar ecosystems exist in Belgium with ex-Fill Factory spin-offs like Cypress Imaging (now On Semiconductor) Cmosis, and Caeleste, among others, with research centres like Imec developing advanced process technology for hyperspectral imaging, for example. The German Fraunhofer institute innovates in 2D and 3D imaging for diverse applications.
One of the major factors driving image sensor development in Europe comes from funded programmes for applied imaging, enabling collaborators to bring concepts to market.
...A challenging request from camera and vision system customers serving the industrial markets is to reduce product price points. This is largely thanks to the emergence of new and aggressively priced competitors in a still fairly fragmented market."