Ams Opens US Image Sensor R&D Center

Article By : Anne-Françoise Pelé

Sensor specialist Ams announced it is setting up an image sensor R&D center at Riverwood Tech Campus in Rochester, New York.

Sensor specialist Ams announced it is setting up an image sensor R&D center at Riverwood Tech Campus in Rochester, New York, to strengthen its expertise in sensor-enabled consumer imaging. “Our focus in Rochester is on industrial AR/VR and robotics for several major US customers, but also the Ams worldwide customer base,” David Sackett, senior director Research and Development, Consumer Image Sensors at Ams and site manager, told EE Times Europe.
David Sackett, Ams Rochester’s site manager
Over the next five years, Sackett said he expects the design center in Rochester will be rolling out leading edge sensor chips using Ams’s new generation of industrial imaging sensor IP. The research team will also work on developing the next generation of imaging technology that will enable future AR/VR and robotic solutions. “For these markets, we focus on small, lower power, high performance image sensors and lens modules that can be easily incorporated into all sorts of motion and wearable products like household robots such as vacuum cleaners or portable electronics for user position tracking and gesture recognition.” Ams’ technology portfolio for 3D sensing comprises VCSEL (Vertical Cavity Surface-Emitting Laser) illumination, high quality display management including behind-OLED (BOLED) sensing, micro-scale proximity sensing, spectral and bio-sensing, and other optical applications. Why Rochester Rochester brings together a concentration of expertise in advanced optics and photonics technologies. It is home to more than 150 leading optics, photonics and imaging companies, including L3, JML Optical, and Lumetrics, and employs about 17,000 people in the optics industry, according to the Greater Rochester Regional Economic Development organization. “We expect to find some great synergy with local photonics companies and universities that we can partner with,” said Sackett. “We are actively looking for partners for optical design and image science algorithm development in both artificial intelligence and classic machine vision.” Ams has two other design centers in the US, namely in Mercerville and in Plano. The Rochester site is, however, the company’s first US image sensor R&D center. Ams’ presence on American soil will continue with a fourth center. “We are also starting to develop an image sensor center in Boise (Idaho) focused on customer support and pixel R&D for image sensors. But Rochester is the only US site focused on the full IC chip design and development for image sensors.”
Ams Rochester
Ams’ image sensor design center in Rochester, New York (Image source: Ams)
The Rochester site is tightly linked to several other Ams image sensor R&D centers around the world, said Sackett. “We are leveraging a strong foundation built by the European teams and working collaboratively to define future technology platforms.” Ams started building the design center in July 2020. “By now, we have hired 15 engineers, with plans to hire up to 14 more this year, making Rochester a significant design center,” Sackett concluded. This article was originally published on EE Times Europe. Anne-Françoise Pelé is editor-in-chief of eetimes.eu and EE Times Europe.

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