September 24, 2010 13:22 ET
InVisage Solves "Rolling Shutter" Phenomenon, Besting Image Sensor Market Leaders
New QuantumShutter™ Technology Eliminates "Jell-O" Effect Prevalent in Today's Cameras
MENLO PARK, CA--(Marketwire - September 24, 2010) - InVisage Technologies, Inc. -- a Silicon Valley-based start-up that is revolutionizing the image sensor market -- today announced QuantumShutter™, a new technology that eliminates the "rolling shutter" effect that has plagued today's digital camera industry. Also known as "wobble" and "Jell-O," rolling shutter causes an image to bend, slant or skew when photographing a moving object with either a still or video camera. InVisage is the first and only company to solve the rolling shutter effect in any device, from high-end cameras like digital SLRs to small everyday devices like cameraphones.
In 2009, image sensors were a $4.6 billion* market. Of this market, CMOS image sensors make up the lion's share because they require less cost, power and space -- from DSLRs, security cameras, medical devices, automobiles to cameraphones. However, they do pose some technical challenges. Traditional CMOS image sensors read images from top to bottom. If something is moving faster than the image can be read (think of a swinging golf club, a moving propeller or a speeding race car) the object being captured will have moved before the sensor can complete its read out. This phenomenon, called rolling shutter, causes image distortion.
InVisage's QuantumShutter solves this problem by using a portion of the silicon to store the image "charge" so the entire image is captured at the exact same moment. Because of its QuantumFilm™ technology, announced earlier this year, InVisage is the only image sensor company that has the extra silicon space needed for a storage node. QuantumFilm is a quantum dot-based light absorber that sits on top of the pixel, employing the silicon beneath it to read out the image. InVisage spent three years engineering the quantum dot material to produce highly-sensitive image sensors that integrate with standard CMOS manufacturing processes.
"While other image sensor companies have been focused on increasing the number of pixels, InVisage is focused on bringing completely new thinking and technologies to CMOS image sensors -- like tackling rolling shutter," says Jess Lee, CEO, InVisage Technologies. "InVisage's QuantumShutter will bring better and more reliable picture quality to an industry that is desperate for innovation."
QuantumShutter provides compelling advantages for both video and still camera applications. The technology serves the same purpose as a mechanical shutter like those found in high-end cameras such as digital SLRs. Mechanical shutters, while highly desirable, are expensive, have a high rate of mechanical failure, and add height and weight. QuantumShutter enables the same capability, but without the need for moving parts.
"In 2010, we expect sales of more than one billion cameras that use CMOS image sensors, and it is growing," says Dr. Tom Hausken, director of photonics and compound semiconductors at Strategies Unlimited. "This creates a huge opportunity for new technologies like InVisage's QuantumShutter that offer advancements over traditional CMOS image sensors."
Initially targeting cameraphone applications, which is the largest and fastest growing portion of the image sensor market, InVisage Technologies' QuantumShutter will be available later this year as an optional feature with the first samples of its QuantumFilm-based image sensors. More information on QuantumShutter, QuantumFilm and InVisage Technologies is available at www.invisageinc.com.
About InVisage Technologies, Inc.
InVisage Technologies, Inc. is a venture-backed fabless semiconductor company based in Menlo Park, Calif. that is developing QuantumFilm, a breakthrough imaging-sensing technology that will replace silicon. Its first product enables high-fidelity, high resolution images from handheld devices like camera phones and PDAs. Founded in 2006, InVisage Technologies is venture funded by RockPort Capital, Charles River Ventures, InterWest Partners, and OnPoint Technologies. More information is available at www.invisageinc.com.
* 2010 CCD & CMOS Area Image Sensor Market Analysis, Techno Systems Research Co., Ltd