Qualcomm takes stake in optic module maker

Qualcomm is making a play for a stake in the cameraphone market, by investing in the former optics division of Philips Electronics.
 
The firm’s venture-capital arm, Qualcomm Venture Europe, is leading the investment in Anteryon, which was sold to private investors in 2006 and today claims leadership in production of wafer-based miniature optical modules.
 
However Qualcomm hasn’t revealed how much it is putting into the silicon maker, stating only that it has joined existing investors BNP Paribas Private Equity and Biggell Finance, and new investor Qwest for Growth, in the latest funding round.
 
Funds will go towards producing Anteryon’s WaferOptics module, and expanding the firm’s production facility in China.
 
Anteryon uses the same wafer format as CMOS image sensors, which it claims simplifies camera module supply by allowing it to integrate production of the camera sensor and optics.
 
In addition to using the funds to grow its production plants, Anteryon will explore new ways of growing its business, CEO Gert Jan Bloks said, including “partnering with other players in the supply chain and/or licensing our technology.”

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