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STMicroelectronics Introduce Pio-Projector Technology for Portable Customer Devices

STMicroelectronics, a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications and the world’s top MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) manufacturer, today announced that it has taken an important additional step in its positioning in the emerging video-sharing market for smartphones and other portable consumer devices.

Following a successful joint development effort with start-up bTendo, ST has acquired the intellectual property and has hired most of the staff of the Israeli company to accelerate the propagation of the technology.

The development effort, which has been aimed at combining bTendo’s innovative Scanning Laser Projection engine with ST’s leading MEMS expertise, video processing know-how and semiconductor process technology, has produced evaluation samples ideally suited, because of their tiny size and low power consumption, for integration into next-generation smartphones, digital cameras and laptops. These samples are now in the hands of potential customers.

The Scanning Laser Projection engine produces a focus-free high-resolution output that will allow users to display their video, pictures and presentations virtually anywhere. The bTendo innovative solution provides the smallest foot print available in the market with the best efficiency and meets the toughest mobile-makers design requirements. In particular, in a module smaller than 1.7cm3 and less than 5mm high, the projection engine is ideally suited for integration in even the sleekest smartphones and other portable devices.

“As a pioneer and the industry’s leading innovator in MEMS, we’re making pico-projectors small, power-friendly, and convenient enough to suit smart phones, digital cameras and laptops,” said Benedetto Vigna, Executive Vice President and General Manager of ST’s Analog, MEMS and Sensors Group. ”Combining ST’s IP and technical expertise with bTendo’s Scanning Laser Projection engine is enabling us to meet the demands of the emerging market of embedded projectors in next-generation portable consumer devices while preparing to simultaneously open up new markets.”

Underscoring ST’s efforts in this area, Pacific Media Associates, a leading projector-market research firm, forecasts the market for pico-projectors to expand to 58 million units in 2015, up from about 3 million units shipped in 2011[2], a compound annual growth rate of more than 80%. ST’s acquisition of bTendo’s IP and expertise leverages the strong progress of the companies’ existing joint-development efforts and positions ST to fully benefit from this significant market growth.

[1] IHS iSuppli: MEMS Competitive Analysis 2012

[2] Pacific Media Associates annual survey of  manufacturers of projectors, optical engines, and components 2012


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