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Taiwan postcards: A reporter's photojournal

Posted: 25 Jul 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:ODM? OEM?

Everybody's struggling�except Foxconn, which has won most of Apple's business for building iPhones and iPads. But success has not come without a price for Foxconn, which has become the poster boy for the factory cities springing up in China where today's mobile products are made.

The ODM world is a sensitive and secretive one. Many turned down my requests for interviews, including Foxconn, which like many of the ODMs has now moved out of dirty industrial tenements and into shiny glass offices in Taipei's tony Neihu district.

Foxconn office

Pictures of Mintron
Taiwan is home to dozens, maybe hundreds of small- and medium-sized electronics companies with a few good ideas and a lot of sweat behind them, trying to eke out a position in the dynamic electronics industry. Our tour bus crawled through narrow streets in often dingy industrial parks, sometimes getting lost on our way from one to the next.

The bus stops and we arrive at Mintron, an OEM maker of CCD and CMOS sensor camera modules for every application from astronomy and automotive to surveillance and Web cams. Victor Sun (below) is especially proud of his company's high-definition camera that can be used for broadcasting or in a surgeon's operating room.

Victor Sun

Victor Sun with his high-definition camera.

The company has developed as many as six generations of its own proprietary imaging DSPs. They integrate features that help simplify the modules and provide the best low light images.

Another one of Mintron's claims to fame is having produced Taiwan's first color CCD module. These days it sees big growth in surveillance, medical and automotive markets for which it makes a variety of products including a collision avoidance camera embedded in a rear-view mirror (below).

Collision avoidance camera

Stanford of the East
Welcome to National Taiwan University in the heart of Taipei. It's a lively place that in the palm-lined corridor from one main entrance might be mistaken for Stanford in Palo Alto.

National Taiwan University

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