Duo makes a splash with liquid lenses for mobiles

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Seiko Instruments (SII) and Varioptic have signed a contract to develop, manufacture and market Varioptic’s Liquid Lens products.

The aim of this agreement is to achieve a significant penetration with Liquid Lens products in the fast growing camera module market and other large volume end equipment markets such as barcodes and webcams.

SII production capacity plan is expected to reach 0.5 million units per month by Q3 of 2008 and will expand mass production capacity according to market needs.

This agreement builds on an existing production capacity for Arctic 314 and Arctic 416 liquid lenses designed for five–MegaPixel, 1/3-inch and 1/4-inch format camera modules.

Varioptic will continue to develop the liquid lens technology and to ensure the system wide competitiveness of the Liquid Lens products. Varioptic’s liquid lens feature many advantages over competing technologies in terms of cost, size, robustness, power consumption, silent operation and speed. These advantages position liquid lenses particularly well for the emerging camcorder phone market where continuous auto-focus for video is a “must-have” feature.

Takeshi Sasaki, general manager of Micro Energy Division of SII, said: ‘Varioptic’s Liquid Lenses present significant advantages for the miniature camera phone industry and other large volume end equipment applications, resulting in higher yields and reduced production costs in line with our strategy to provide quality and innovative products.’