Saturday, November 16, 2013

TowerJazz Reports Imminent Launch of High-Volume Gesture Control Sensor

SeekingAlpha publishes TowerJazz Q3 2013 earnings call transcript updating on its CIS business:

"In our CMOS Image Sensor business unit, we continued to see growth from our leading European customers for high-resolution, high frame rate, global shutter products. This is a highly competitive field, however, most of the competition is not between us and other foundry providers, but rather between our customers. There are many growth, as well as new applications for industrial cameras, such as traffic control, 3D copiers and border control that contribute to our overall market growth. The continuous move from CCD to CMOS in the industrial sensor market also contributes to the growth of this area of our business.

In the x-ray market, we reported in the past on prototypes of several new sensors for medical and dental applications. Those products are currently ramping nicely to production and are expected to contribute significantly to the CIS business unit's revenue next year and beyond. Several new projects are in the pipeline and considering the very long life of x-ray sensor products in general, we expect the products to be responsible for substantial incremental revenues over the next 5 to 8 years.

Our forecasted high-volume gesture control project is now in its qualification stage and moving according to plan. The gesture activities are with name-brand top-tier customers. This is expected to ramp to mass production next year. We're also making significant steps in the high-end scientific and space sensor area. In the beginning of October, we presented our technology to the CERN Institute in Switzerland and were personally congratulated by the CERN General Director for winning a $5 million contract to supply sensors to the new CERN experimental facility, known as ALICE. We expect to penetrate more into the research in space area in Europe during 2014.

In addition, just last week, we announced that together with SRI International, we delivered the first radiation-hardened CMOS image sensor units to the Naval Research Laboratory for use on the Solar Orbiter Heliospheric Imager, known as SoloHI optical telescope. SoloHI is part of the NASA and European Space Energy, Solar Orbiter Mission. Planned for launch in 2017, the spacecraft is expected to study the sun from a closer distance than any other previous mission, and we are proud to be critically involved in this mission. Although itself not a high-revenue project, it does recognize our technology leadership and brand in a scientific grade rad-hard image sensors.

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