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Qualcomm injects cash in optical module developer

Posted: 11 Jun 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:optical module? handset camera? laser module?

As part of its European investment fund, Qualcomm Inc. has made a strategic investment in Anteryon, a wafer-based, miniature optical module production for mobile phone cameras and laser projection developer.

Qualcomm Ventures Europe is leading this round, with BNP Paribas Private Equity and Biggell Finance participating as existing shareholders, and Quest for Growth, a Belgium-based investment fund, also as a new investor. Investment funds will be used for the breakthrough WaferOptics optical module production technology and Anteryon's Asia production facility expansion. Terms of the investment have not been disclosed.

Anteryon's patented WaferOptics technology revolutionizes the production of micro-optics for miniature camera and laser projection modules. Wafer-scale production enables extensive miniaturization and cost saving, while using the same wafer format as the CMOS image sensor industry allows for a full integration of sensor and optics production, which vastly simplifies the camera module supply chain. Anteryon is the recognized world leader in this domain, with a WaferOptics product portfolio ranging from VGA to 5Mpixel, and manufacturing facilities in Eindhoven and China that produce millions of WaferOptics lens stacks monthly at an extremely high yield for several top-tier mobile phone manufacturers around the globe.

"The magnitude of opportunities opened up by the WaferOptics production technology is immense, and Qualcomm's experience and knowledge in the wireless industry will be a contributing factor in our future success," said Gert Jan Bloks, CEO of Anteryon. "This new investment will enable us to boost our worldwide manufacturing facilities, including extension of the facilities in Eindhoven and the set up of a new state of the art production facility in the Far East. In order to meet the high-volume market demand, we will also investigate additional ways of scaling our business, such as partnering with other players in the supply chain and/or licensing our technology."

"Anteryon has a unique position in this promising market for WaferOptics, both in terms of product design and manufacturing capabilities. We believe that Anteryon has what it takes to lead and accelerate this market to dramatically improve miniaturization and cost reduction of camera modules, enabling a new generation of camera phones and handheld devices," said Frederic Rombaut, managing director of Qualcomm Ventures Europe.

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