Wednesday, May 16, 2012

ESPROS Announces 3D ToF Imager

Swiss ESPROS Photonics Corp. image sensor fab has a number of standard products. Its May 2012 "Chips" magazine (distributed by email) features its latest 3D TOF product, the epc600. Beat De Coi, ESPROS CEO, says:

"Our 3D camera technology is really taking off. All our our customers who have seen the epc600 live in action are excited by this new system. A complete 3D camera measuring only 20×25×30mm! Distance measurements up to 10 meters within milliseconds in bright sunlight conditions. A system developers dream has become true! The new epc600 chip will become available soon, together with a simple to use evaluation kit."

Beat continues: "Agreed, I am really talking it up. But I am still surprised myself how much power is in this tiny device. For three decades, I have been a developer of sensors for industrial applications in the textile industry, automation technology, in elevators, logistics, and many more. How I wish I had such a technology available for my work during these years. We had so many ideas for innovative sensor solutions. But with the technologies available at the time there was simply no way to realize these ideas in commercially viable products. However, with epc things have now changed!"

ESPROS web site says that the new ToF imager has resolution of 8x8 pixels, on-chip LED driver and a range up to 7.5m. The imager is highly integrated and capable to operate under ambient illumination of 10,000 lux.

epc601 integrated TOF Imager

The magazine also talks about the new ESPROS backside processing line: "This year, we started with the project work for our backside processing line in Sargans. Our ESPROS Photonic CMOS process relies on highly specific semiconductor manufacturing steps that are unique in the open market. A good part of the “secret ingredients” are applied during
the later steps of the silicon manufacturing process, the so called backside processing. As these steps are highly specific and constitute an important part of our technical USP,
it was a strategic decision to implement these production steps into our headquarter's manufacturing portfolio. By end of 2011 the necessary tools were delivered to Sargans and the project was officially started in January 2012. During the course of this year we will install and ramp up this line.

ESPROS fab is located deep inside Gonzen Mountain for vibration-free environment

Thanks to OSP for the info!


  1. What are the applications for 8x8-pixel sensor?

  2. This is for industrial applications.

  3. Very much like Iranian Nuclear Plant!!!

  4. How many wafers produced each month now in this Fab? What are the principal customers? Any information?


All comments are moderated to avoid spam and personal attacks.