Monday, January 21, 2019

Sofradir and ULIS to Invest €150M in French Nano 2022 Program

ALA News: Sofradir and its subsidiary ULIS announce their participation in the Nano 2022 initiative, which sees the Group invest €150M ($171M) over the period 2018-2022.

This announcement follows the European Commission’s approval on December 18, 2018 of the ‘Important Project of Common European Interest’ (IPCEI), a joint project by France, Germany, Italy and the UK to give €1.75 billion (approx. $2bn) in public support for research and innovation in microelectronics.

Nano 2022 will enable ULIS to develop the next generations of IR detectors to address trends in autonomous systems for smart buildings (workspace management, energy savings), road safety and in-cabin comfort of vehicles. It also enables Sofradir to develop the very large dimension IR detectors needed for space and astronomy observations as well as compact and light sensors that can be used in portable devices and on drones. Nano 2022 contributes to the funding of the pilot lines required for developing these technologies and products.

Update: IMVEurope: Sofradir and its subsidiary Ulis are investing €150M in the development of the next generations of IR detectors. David Billon-Lanfrey, director of strategy at Sofradir, says the company could potentially improve the performance of infrared sensors by up to 30% when the project concludes in 2022.

Sofradir aims to reduce the pixel pitch on its FPAs to enable higher resolution or, alternatively, reduce cost with smaller pixels. "We are working on our pixel structure so that we maintain the performance, even though the sensor area is getting smaller," David Billon-Lanfrey says. "We maintain the sensitivity of the pixel and we improve the resolution of the detector to improve the performance. The end result is a higher imaging range."

The second part of Sofradir’s R&D work is to increase the operating temperature of cooled FPAs from its currently -200°C.

Ulis, Sofradir’s subsidiary, will use the funding to target higher volume markets for its microbolometers.

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