Don`t forget Photobit
Eric R. Fossum
Photobit Corporation, Pasadena, CA 91101
In the Sept 1998 issue of Vision Systems Design there was a nice article on CMOS image sensors (p. 7). But please don`t forget Photobit! Photobit was spun off from JPL three years ago and has been doing custom CMOS image-sensor design for a number of companies. My group at JPL invented and developed the CMOS active pixel sensor technology that allowed CMOS to compete with CCDs in terms of image quality, as well as have lower power dissipation and high levels of on-chip integration. This technology was then transferred from JPL to several companies including Kodak and AT&T Bell Labs.
After Dr. Sabrina Kemeny formed Photobit, almost the entire team joined the company, and we now have a staff of about 60. We have the exclusive license, with right to sublicense, to the technology we developed at JPL as well as a larger IP portfolio developed at Photobit subsequently. Licensees include Kodak, Intel and Schick Technologies (medical radiography).
We felt a bit left out of the September article, given the role we have all played in the invention, development and commercialization of CMOS active pixel sensors and the performance level of our technology. While the technical community is aware of our role, it is important that our potential customers be informed, too.