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5 December 2012

Sofradir’s acquires InSb and QWIP & InGaAs IR detector technology from Sagem and Thales

Sofradir of Paris, France, which makes cooled infrared detectors based on mercury cadmium telluride (MCT/HgCdTe) for military, space and commercial applications, has agreed to acquire the infrared (IR) detector technology development and manufacturing facilities of Sagem (part of Safran group) and Thales.

Since they are at the center of multiple military, space, commercial and scientific applications (thermal imagers, missile seekers, surveillance systems, targeting systems or observation satellites), the performance and price of IR detectors are key to the competitiveness of optronics systems, says Sofradir.

Sagem will transfer to Sofradir its indium antimonide (InSb) technology. Quantum-well infrared photodetector (QWIP) and indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs) technologies will be transferred from the GIE III-V Lab, an economic interest group with partners Alcatel Lucent, Thales and the CEA research institute (the French nuclear energy and alternate energies commission).

Sofradir says that, by consolidating these IR technologies under one roof, it joins a small circle of IR detector manufacturers with expertise in all the cooled and uncooled IR technologies. Sofradir is currently ranked number one for volume deliveries of IR detectors based on its HgCdTe technology.

Serge Adrian, senior VP of land defence at Thales, and Philippe Petitcolin, chairman & CEO of Sagem, say that the agreement enhances years of research initially carried out by Thales and then by III-V Lab and Sagem: “Sofradir will take these IR activities to the next level and benefit from the synergies between the different IR technologies,” they believe.

“The technologies from Sagem and the III-V Lab enable Sofradir to have from this point forward the complete portfolio of infrared technologies,” says Sofradir’s chairman & CEO Philippe Bensussan. “With the new technologies, Sofradir along with its subsidiary ULIS [of Veurey-Voroize, near Grenoble, which makes uncooled IR sensors based on amorphous silicon], will be able to select the technology best adapted to our clients’ applications,” he adds. “We are in a fortified position to offer IR products with more innovation, performance and compactness in order to respond to any IR market need.”

Tags: Sofradir HgCdTe IR detectors




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