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ams and SmartSens partner on 3D and NIR sensors

ams, a supplier of high performance sensor solutions, has signed a formal letter of intent to collaborate in the field of Image Sensors with SmartSens Technology, a specialist in high-performance CMOS image sensors.

This collaboration complements ams’ strategic approach to broaden its portfolio for all three 3D technologies – Active Stereo Vision (ASV), Time-of-Flight (ToF) and Structured Light (SL) – while looking to accelerate time to market for a more differentiated set of new products.

In a moved that's designed to meet an expected increase in demand for 3D sensing solutions in mobile devices, the partnership’s initial focus will be on 3D Near Infrared (NIR) sensors for facial recognition and applications requiring a high Quantum Efficiency (QE) in the NIR range (2D and 3D).

The companies will collaborate on the development of a 3D ASV reference design to support the planned future launch of a 1.3MP Stacked BSI Global Shutter Image Sensor with state of the art QE up to 40% at 940nm. This NIR sensor will be an addition to ams’ 3D illumination offerings, and will help to extend its 3D portfolio. The reference design will enable high performance depth maps for payment, face recognition and AR/VR applications at what is hoped to be very competitive total system cost.

“This collaboration with SmartSens in Image Sensors brings customers the benefit of a faster time to market for 3D Active Stereo Vision and Structured Light applications in mobile phones and other devices including IoT applications, based on ams’ 3D technology and core IP on Voltage-Domain Global Shutter. The collaboration will also help accelerate time to market for new automotive applications such as in-cabin 2D and 3D sensing,” said Stéphane Curral, Executive Vice President for the Division Image Sensor Solutions at ams.

“We are pleased to partner with ams to combine our expertise in Image Sensors and NIR technology with ams’ 3D expertise and core Image Sensing IP. We believe it will provide an optimal solution to meet customer demand,” said Chris Yiu, Chief Marketing Officer, SmartSens Technology.

Author
Neil Tyler

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