Monday, October 12, 2009

Tessera Hits and Misses

EETimes: In 2005, realizing that it needed a new engine for growth, Tessera has embarked on a bold but little-understood strategy that could pay huge dividends--or may simply fall flat. Since 2005, it has acquired five separate companies in the imaging and optics arena (Shellcase, Digital Optics, Eyesquad, FotoNation and Dblur). Call it Tessera's big gamble: It hopes to replicate success in DRAM IP, by assembling the pieces to boost the imaging quality and functionally for camera-based handsets.

But the company has already seen a slight setback for its Imaging and Optics division. Citing a fall in capital equipment spending, the Imaging and Optics group is projected to exit the year with about $12 million in sales for 2009, significantly down from $23 million in sales last year. The group missed its forecast in other respects. At one time, the Imaging and Optics division projected that its sales would hit $100 million by 2010. The group has now pushed out those ambitious $100 million sales targets to 2011.

The article also has few interesting side stories, such as wafer level camera status at ST:

With Nokia--ST's largest camera module customer--pushing for very low-cost modules and wafer level camera technology adoption, ST also began developing wafer level optics. In light of the challenges, checks suggest that the ST's wafer level camera was not reaching the same level of image quality, causing Nokia to become less aggressive in pushing its vendors to adopt a wafer level camera approach.


  1. How do you do all the technology around a sensor without having access to the sensor processes?
    This is more than simply packaging an integrated circuit.

  2. Tessera is sitting on a huge pile of cash, I'm sure they can weather out the current downturn

  3. My point is that sensors and lenses need to be matched. If you don't control the sensor process the wafer level lens probably won't work.

  4. I would expect it would be easy to buy full wafers of image sensors from cash-strapped image sensor companies....

  5. You can buy wafers up to your hips. If you don't control the manufacturing process the chances of success are slim.


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