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Sony acquires image sensor company

Posted: 13 Oct 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Sony? Softkinetic? image sensor? time-of-flight? Melexis?

Sony Corp. has acquired Softkinetic Systems SA, an image sensor technology provider that has appeared on the EE Times Silicon 60 list of promising startups since July. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Sony said Softkinetic would become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony. Softkinetic, founded in 2007, develops sensor-to-software 3D gesture recognition systems using time-of-flight (ToF) technology. It has previously licensed its platform to Texas Instruments Inc. and Melexis SA.

ToF is a technology used for resolving the distance to an object that is used in video gaming by the Xbox One as well as in other applications. ToF distance measurement pixels measure the flight time it takes for light to leave the light source, reflect off the object and return to the image sensor.

Melexis inks deal with Sony to extend Time-of-Flight line-up
Melexis has entered into license agreement with Sony to expand the Time-of-Flight portfolio for automobile safety and infotainment markets. Sony has revealed that it has acquired SoftKinetic, a developer of sensor-to-software 3D gesture solutions including the patented DepthSenseRM Time-of-Flight sensor technology.

The emergence of Softkinetic's DepthSense 3D imaging sensors has come as part of a wave of relatively inexpensive 3D imaging sensors hitting the market and opening up new avenues for machine-vision applications in the consumer space and beyond.

Sony said it would combine Softkinetic's ToF range image sensor technology expertise with its own technologies to develop range image sensors for imaging and other sensing-related applications.

Sony said the acquisition would not materially impact its financial results for the fiscal year, which closes March 31, 2016.

- Dylan McGrath
??EE Times

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