Leica Camera and pmdtechnologies Develop Lenses for 3D Sensor Systems

March 8, 2018 | Mark Goldstein | Lenses | Comment |
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Leica Camera and pmdtechnologies have announced a strategic alliance to jointly develop and market 3D sensing camera solutions for mobile devices. With tailor-made optics, together Leica and pmd will address the increasing demand, especially from the mobile device segment, for highly efficient lenses with compact dimensions.

Leica Press Release

Leica Camera and pmdtechnologies Announce Strategic Technology Alliance

The dynamic partnership will offer highly sought after optimized lenses for 3D sensor solutions

March 7, 2018 –Today, Leica Camera and pmdtechnologies ag, the leading fabless IC supplier of high-performance Time-of-Flight (ToF) depth sensing solutions, announce a strategic alliance to jointly develop and market 3D sensing camera solutions for mobile devices.

The partnership utilizes the core competencies of both companies to develop optimized lenses for the specific requirements of 3D depth sensing solutions. With tailor-made optics, together Leica and pmd will address the increasing demand, especially from the mobile device segment, for highly efficient lenses with compact dimensions. The close proximity of the two companies’ German headquarters also allows for a particularly fast and efficient coordination during development, testing and optimization of the lenses for the 3D sensor systems.

In the last few months, Leica designed a dedicated state-of-the-art optical lens for pmd’s recently announced new 3D depth sensing imager for mobile devices. By decreasing the f-number by 25% and simultanously decreasing the height of the pmd module by 30% to 11.5x7x4.2mm, the dedicated lens for pmd’s latest 3D ToF pixel and imager generation leads to a significant improvement compared to past lenses. As the Leica lens is optimized for a wavelength of 940nm, it enables superior ambient light robustness. With a depth data accuracy of 1%, the system is expected to reach superior data quality and best-in-class performance despite the miniaturization of the pixel, imager and module sizes. First samples of the new lens will be available in May 2018.

“The partnership between Leica and pmd has resulted in the most sophisticated and smallest optic design to date. The collaboration with Leica aligned perfectly with our mission to miniaturize 3D depth sensing without sacrificing data quality so that 3D depth sensing can be put into any device and make 3D depth sensing ubiquitous. We are looking forward to the mobile device opportunities, which the super-small 3D depth sensing modules with Leica’s optical lens will enable. We are more than happy that, with Leica, we found a top-class partner, to join us on this exciting journey,” stated Jochen Penne, Executive Board Member of pmdtechnologies ag.

Markus Limberger, COO of Leica Camera said: “The partnership between pmd and Leica is an excellent example of how two globally-leading companies can combine their core competencies to drive market-oriented innovation efficiently. The foremost position of pmdtechnologies in Time-of-Flight sensor technology and Leica’s expertise in cutting edge optical design were used to develop a very compact and powerful lens, which fits perfectly with the specific requirements and the uncompromising quality of the new 3D sensor generation of pmd.”

About Leica Camera

Passion for creating perfect pictures. Leica represents a union of craftsmanship, design and experience. It is a beautiful collision of art and engineering, and the future of form and functionality. Leica Camera is an internationally operating, premium-segment manufacturer of cameras and sport optics products. The legendary status of the Leica brand is founded on a long tradition of excellence in the supreme quality and performance of cameras and lenses, and the iconic images that artists and photojournalists everywhere captured with them. For more information about Leica visit www.leicacamerausa.com, or follow the brand on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

About pmdtechnologies ag

pmdtechnologies ag, a fabless IC company based in Siegen/Germany and San Jose/USA, is the worldwide leading 3D Time-of-Flight CMOS-based digital imaging technology supplier. Started up in 2002, the company owns over 300 worldwide patents concerning pmd-based applications, the pmd measurement principle and its realization. Addressed markets for pmd's 3D sensors are industrial automation, automotive and the wide field of consumer applications like AR/VR. Further information is available at www.pmdtec.com.



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