Saturday, December 16, 2006

Varioptic Lenses Go into Mass Production

EETimes: Varioptic (Lyon, France), a developer of the liquid lens, agreed a production deal with Creative Sensor (Wuxi, China) in August 2006. Manufacturing capacity is now set to ramp from 100,000 liquid lenses per month at the end of 2006 to 1 million units per month by the end of 2007, according to John Barber, vice president of business development at Varioptic.

Varioptic's new variable focus lenses are 7.75 millimeters in diameter. The unit price is 1.5 euros (about $2) for volume quantities, with a 1 euro per unit target by the end of year 2007, said Barber.

Production quantities in Wuxi include Varioptic's new 7.75-mm lenses, aimed at camera phones, and previously introduced 10.5-mm devices, for use in webcams, barcode readers and medical equipment.

Varoptic signed an agreement with Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co. Ltd. in 2004 and with Avago Technologies in October 2006. Founded in 2003, the French start-up now employs 60 people.

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