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4 May 2018

Osram acquiring VCSEL firm Vixar

© Semiconductor Today Magazine / Juno PublishiPicture: Disco’s DAL7440 KABRA laser saw.

Osram GmbH of Munich, Germany has added to its expertise in semiconductor-based optical security technology and expanded its product portfolio by acquiring Vixar Inc of Plymouth, MN, USA, a fabless company specializing in vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) technology that has developed a volume supply chain consisting of merchant foundries serving the optoelectronic market.

While currently known primarily for identification applications in mobile devices, VCSELs can also be used to recognize gestures and measure distances in medical, industrial and automotive applications.

Vixar was founded by pioneers in the VCSEL industry, having first brought VCSEL to the datacoms market in the late 1990s, and more recently by founding Vixar in 2005 to pursue sensing applications. About 20 staff will transfer to Osram. Vixar is profitable both on an operational and net results level. Closing of the transaction is expected in summer.

“The acquisition of Vixar is adding to our expertise, particularly in the fast-growing market for security technologies,” says Olaf Berlien, CEO of Osram Licht AG. Osram has expertise in infrared optical semiconductors and has already brought to market light sources for fingerprint sensors, iris scanners and 2D facial recognition. The acquired capabilities pave the way for further security technologies, including ultra-compact 3D facial recognition. In addition to unlocking smartphones and other consumer electronics devices, such technologies also can be used for high-security access controls in industry.

Osram says that the way in which VCSEL technology captures 3D environmental data has applications in everything from gesture recognition, augmented reality, robotics and proximity sensors to autonomous driving.

Tags: Osram VCSELs

Visit: www.vixarinc.com

Visit: www.osram.com

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