ST and Metalenz partner to transform optical sensing
STMicroelectronics and Metalenz, a specialist in meta-surface design, have signed a co-development and licensing agreement that will see ST develop manufacturing processes for Metalenz’s meta-optics technology.
This technology is intended for next-generation smartphones, consumer devices, healthcare, and automotive applications.
A spin-out at Harvard University, where the technology was invented Metalenz said that its breakthrough technology was expected to be ready for mass production by the end of 2021.
Metalenz’s multifunctional meta-surface optics make new forms of sensing possible for the next generation of smartphones and other consumer devices, as well as healthcare and automotive applications. For example a camera built around this new flat-lens technology can collect more light for brighter images and produce images of the same or better quality than traditional refractive lenses while consuming less power and taking up less space.
ST will integrate Metalenz’s meta-surface optics technology into its existing diffractive optics manufacturing process at its 300mm wafer fab in Crolles, France, leveraging the company’s expertise in the fast-growing Near-Infrared (NIR) optical sensing market. Today ST leads the market for time-of-flight (ToF) proximity and distance sensors with over 1 billion devices shipped to customers.
According to Eric Aussedat, Executive Vice President & General Manager of ST’s Imaging Division, “With its advantages in power, efficiency, and performance, multifunctional optics technology can be a game changer for the next generation of optical sensors used in smartphones and other consumer devices, as well as healthcare and automotive applications.
“In combining Metalenz’s advances with our proprietary technology, manufactured in our state-of-the-art 300mm production facility in Crolles, this partnership will support ST’s continued offering of the most innovative and advanced optical-sensing solutions to its customers.”