According to the IT media website, AMS (Austrian Microelectronics) held a press conference on December 3 in Tokyo to introduce the CMOS image sensor business, saying that in the future the company will be in the field of machine vision, photos & video and miniature camera modules. The focus is first and foremost on the machine vision business.
The three main axes of AMS sensors are: optical sensors, image sensors and acoustic sensors. The sensor solutions designed and manufactured are suitable for applications with small size, low power consumption, highest sensitivity and multi-sensor integration. Products include sensors, sensor ICs, interfaces and related software for the mobile, consumer, communications, industrial, medical, and automotive industries. It has 18 development bases worldwide and 9,000 employees. With the increase in demand for sensors for intelligent applications, AMS developed rapidly in 2017, with a 97% increase in performance, and global sales in 2018 were $ 1.627 billion.
At present, AMS has established CMOS image sensor design bases in Antwerp, Belgium, Madeira, Portugal and Tokyo. Its CMOS image sensor product portfolio can be divided into three types: area scan sensors, line scan sensors and miniature camera modules.
According to Tom Walshop, director of AMS CMOS image sensor marketing, AMS's CMOS area scan sensors and line scan sensors feature high frame rates and global shutter capabilities, making them ideal for machine vision applications.
The area scan sensor introduced at this conference is the 1-inch global shutter image sensor "CSG-14K", which provides a sufficient dynamic range of 12-bit output, can respond to scenes and objects with wide dynamic range, and has a resolution of 14M pixels. Products that previously supported the 1-inch optical format provided better image quality and higher throughput.
Regarding the line scan sensor, Tom Walshop said that the development of the new "4LS" series is in progress and is scheduled to be released in 2020. "4LS" is equipped with 4 parallel pixel lines and supports adding monochrome to RGB or 4: 1 TDI operation image processing. Operate 4 lines simultaneously, providing 4 lines with line rates up to 150kHz at various resolutions.
In the field of miniature camera modules, AMS will expand its "NanEye" series of businesses. The "NanEye" series is equipped with a corresponding camera module, which can provide a module package of only 1mm x 1mm. The current product is "NanEye2D". It is planned to provide "NanEyeXS" and "NanEyeM" to medical institutions and "NanEyeC" to consumer devices in the first quarter of 2020. Among them, "NanEyeXS" is a product that has been further reduced in size based on "NanEye2D". There is no breakthrough in the size of "NanEyeM" and "NanEyeC", but the pixels are higher.
AMS Japan area manager Keiichi Iwamoto said that the Japanese market sales of CMOS business accounted for 40% of the group's total sales. Orders in 2020 will increase compared with this year, and it is expected that the next year's performance will have a steady growth.