InVisage Technologies Inc. out of Menlo Park, CA has announced a new technology which the company claims will deliver four times higher performance with twice the dynamic range of current technology. The new technology is called QuantumFilm and is based on quantum dots - semiconductors which have the ability to capture between 90-95 percent of available light, compared to 25 percent for ordinary silicon-based image sensors. According to InVisage, its new QuantumFilm image sensors will enable high pixel count and high performance in tiny form factors such as those in mobile phones.
â€œIt is becoming increasingly difficult and expensive to develop next-generation image sensors using silicon; essentially, silicon has hit a wall,â€ says Jess Lee, InVisage President and C.E.O. â€œThe fundamental problem is that silicon cannot capture light efficiently, but until now it has been the only option. The disruptive nature of QuantumFilm builds on silicon's success in electronics, and elevates its function using new materials that are engineered from the ground up for light capture.â€
The quantum-dot film is deposited directly onto the wafer during the final stage of manufacturing and covers 100 percent of each pixel. Because the process is akin to applying a photo-resist layer to a wafer it can easily be integrated into existing foundry processes while adding minimal cost. InVisage expects to begin sampling product to OEMs beginning in Q4 of 2010.