Monday, July 17, 2017

CIS History Diagram

Techbriefs magazine publishes an article "CMOS, The Future of Image Sensor Technology" by Gareth Power, Marketing Manager, Teledyne e2v. The main trends in industrial and scientific sensors are said to be higher speeds and lower prices. There is also a diagram on image sensor companies spin-offs and mergers:

Some parts are not exactly correct here, like Avago has not been spun-off from Micron. Also, Far Eastern companies are not there, like no Toshiba-Sony, nor Siliconfile-Hynix, nor others. But as a first attempt to make such a diagram, it looks really nice.

Thanks to LH for the link!


  1. Univ. Edinburgh -> VLSI Vision -> ST (although they were ardent about CMOS PPS for a long time)
    Linkoping -> Integrated Vision Products (IVP) (CMOS PPS)
    Motorola started as a fab vendor for Kodak
    Omnivision and Photobit were both founded in 1995
    JPL (my student Suni Mendis) got the ball rolling at HP -> Agilent -> Avago(?)
    Atmel was a licensee and customer of Photobit, but Dan McGrath (Polaroid) was also there.
    Perhaps VK should start a new one and get it right, with help from all of us!

    1. I'm still trying to find a time for this. There are many dead paths like LG Semi + Hyundai Semi -> Hynix -> Mangachip, absorbed IC-Media, then discontinued CMOS sensors. Or TI with EMCCD and LOFIC sensors, ProMOS, TransVision, CMOX, Biomorphic, Y-Media, and many, many others.

      Talking about HP/Agilent, they acquired assets of Pixel Devices, so that the the IP later went to Avago, while the team went to Fairchild Imaging.

      And Cypress also acquired Smalcamera, sold it to Sensata, then Sensata sold it to Melexis. In short, it's going to be quite entangled diagram.

    2. Better start with a big piece of paper! I agree the genealogy is quite complex. And, perhaps there is another volunteer...?

  2. I would be happy to help with creating visualizations for such a diagram if VK could take care of typing in all the mergers/splits relations - maybe in an XML form, the best place would be definitely here as part of this site.

    I had an idea of doing such diagram a long time, since I am also interested in collecting legacy tech - like rare (cmos) sensors - got a PhotoBit one used for InPhase holographic prototype and then a very impressive 6MP fullframe for LEAF in chip scale packaging. It would be nice to get these working some day :)

    1. Thanks, Daniel. I'd like to learn more about your visualization ideas. There are about 300 companies with different relationships between them, and dates for mergers, acquisitions, spin-offs, etc. Do you imply a gigantic jpeg picture?

    2. Well, the basic one could be just a stream/tree/rail system, with time flowing left to right, sort of this:
      There are two similar graphs with a bigger amount of subjects (Genealogy of Airlines, Genealogy of Car Companies - here ) which are rather made for offline/poster use.
      If some more verbosity is required and we could gather that information I would rather to make a zoomable/browsable map (SVG) with milestones/tech/products/people displayed. Not sure if I would bias the graph with business information / thickness based on capitalization, since that is often hard to find (but could show the growth/decay by time)

    3. Thank you, Daniel. Could you send me an example of XML format that you'd like to get the data? You can use my email in the About Me link on the top left side.


All comments are moderated to avoid spam and personal attacks.