LONDON — InVisage Technologies Inc. (Menlo Park, Calif.), a startup developing quantum-dot based light capture film for image sensors, has opened its first sensor manufacturing facility QFAB3 in Hsinchu Science Park, Taiwan.
InVisage said QuantumFilm technology would be introduced later in 2015 and that it is partnering with foundry TSMC for wafer manufacturing and with VisEra Technologies Co. Ltd. for color filter desposition. With this supply chain InVisage is gearing up for an assault on the image sensor market.
Ribbon cutting ceremony for Invisage and TSMC's Quantum Fab 3. (Source: Invisage).
QuantumFilm is a light-sensitive layer of quantum dots that replaces the conventional silicon photodiode in digital camera sensors and provides improved dynamic range, greater performance in low light, and global shutter capabilities. InVisage claims that QFAB3 has process geometries down to 5nm, although this is likely a measurement of film thickness.
InVisage raised $32.5 million in a funding round announced in December 2014. This took the amount raised by InVisage to more than $130 million. Investors in the round included China Oceanwide USA Holdings, as well as GGV Capital, Nokia Growth Partners, RockPort Capital, InterWest Partners, Intel Capital and OnPoint Technologies.
Cross-section of QuantumFilm process in which metal-chalcogenide quantum-dot fllm replaces silicon photodiodes. (Source: InVisage)
Product wafers are manufactured by TSMC and then transferred to InVisage’s facility for QuantumFilm deposition. The deposition itself is performed by a single, custom tool that combines spin-coating and CVD deposition technologies into one machine for the first time.
The main advantage of QuantumFilm is higher photonic efficiency for turning light into electron motion than silicon. This means greater dynamic range and the ability for fast and global shuttering. The material is customizable to allow for dynamic adjustment of sensitivity and resolution, and can be optimized for better performance at wavelengths ranging from visible to infrared.
"We chose to establish our high-volume manufacturing in Taiwan because of the vitality of the semiconductor ecosystem here, and in particular because of our partnership with TSMC," said InVisage's CEO, Jess Lee, in a statement. The manufacturing facility is designed to support image sensors for a wide range of products, from mobile phones to high-end cameras as well as for drones and other IoT devices that require high performance cameras.
—Peter Clarke covers business news and analog for EE Times Europe.
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Article originally published on EE Times Europe.
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