Wednesday, March 28, 2018

SWIR Vision Systems Startup

PRNewswire: RTI International, a nonprofit research institute, spins-out a venture company, SWIR Vision Systems Inc., to commercialize infrared camera technology developed at RTI for applications in the industrial machine vision, security systems, agricultural, automotive, and other global imaging markets.

RTI's patented infrared camera technology, based on novel and commercially scalable image sensor materials, was advanced with a combination of grant support from DARPA and internal development, management, and financial support from RTI. The technology was licensed exclusively to SWIR Vision Systems, which plans to commercialize its SWIR-band cameras in 2018 and manufacture the cameras at its Research Triangle Park, NC operations center.

George Wildeman, a photonics industry executive and entrepreneur with over 25 years of technology commercialization experience, has been named CEO of SWIR Vision Systems. Ethan Klem will transition from RTI to become SWIR's CTO.

"Acuros cameras will dramatically expand the imaging toolkit for machine vision integrators, disrupting the cost and performance curve for vision systems design," said Wildeman, "We look forward to witnessing the impact of the technology as it is adopted in our target applications and markets."

The challenge: Expensive InGaAs Sensors
Presently, commercially available, short-wave infrared (SWIR) imagers are based on costly, high-purity semiconductor materials such as indium-gallium-arsenide (InGaAs) that are grown on indium phosphide (InP) substrate. To form electrical connections between each photodiode (i.e., pixel) and the corresponding Si ROIC input, the two devices are joined, one detector at a time, by metal-to-metal bonding. This time-consuming process, known as hybridization, is carried out by forming an array of bumps on the detector die, bringing this bumped array into contact with an array of metal bumps on the ROIC die, and then reflowing the bonds to form the electrical connections. The hybridization process imposes limitations on array size, pixel size, and sensor resolution.

The innovation: CQD Sensor Technology
CQD sensor technology changes the performance-to-cost point of SWIR cameras. CQD semiconductor crystals are deposited from solution directly on the surface of silicon CMOS circuitry. The resulting monolithic photodetector structure enables higher resolution and eliminates the prohibitively expensive hybridization process inherent to InGaAs sensors.

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