Celebrating 5 Years of Innovation in Optical Assembly

Optics Innovation 5 Year Anniversary

We recently hosted an office party to mark the 5th anniversary of the founding of Kasalis.  In our celebratory presentation, we reminisced about both the good times and the struggle to get a start-up off the ground and running.  It has been a rollercoaster for these five years: overall, very exciting, but not without its ups and downs. 

In 2012, we released our first products and were able to shake hands with our first customer. Soon we gained distributors and saw market growth. When 2014 rolled around, our numbers were growing so swiftly that we had to move to an office triple the size of our old one. We worked hard, traveled a great deal, and in 2015, our company was acquired by Jabil Circuit. We are now proudly a part of their Jabil Optics division.

Since then, we have kept busy, launching our Pixid 500 systems in 2016 and moving, yet again, to a bigger, more secure office. Now that we are finally settled in, we have time to celebrate! We are looking at a future with growth in some exciting markets, such as augmented reality, gesture recognition, and self-driving vehicles.  So…cheers to five years of rigorous innovation and collaboration at Kasalis.  Here’s to the next five and beyond, and a big thanks to our customers and partners for a great start.

 

 

 

Updated Website, New Pixid 500 Alignment Systems

Pixid 500 Active Alignment System

Pixid 500 Active Alignment System

Our technologies and products are constantly evolving, so it was just about time we updated our website to reflect our latest and greatest offerings.  Kasalis has been working hard on its new alignment systems and software, which are now available and profiled on the updated website at www.kasalis.com.  Most notably, we have a new model in production, the Pixid 500, which is a high volume, automated active alignment system that offers a higher UPH for narrow FOV optics.

There will be more updates to the website and blog shortly, as we are busily designing a new office space.  The excitement in the office is building for our big move to a new, customized, and larger office.  Sales of the Pixid 500, in addition to our signature Pixid 300, are driving growth and increasing technical requirements. We will be incorporating special features into the new office space to accommodate our customers and our newest technologies. Stay tuned.

And please, in the meantime, don’t forget to check out our latest at www.kasalis.com.

Marvels of Micro Technology: Compact Camera Module Market to Reach $51B

So, what is on the cool technology docket for 2016? Some exciting new products will be coming onto the market, many of which will include connectivity and embedded cameras, ready for connecting to the internet of things (IoT).  We are thrilled that cameras are becoming more prevalent, and indeed, significant growth is projected in the compact camera module (CCM) market. The demand for thinner devices and higher quality cameras, as well as the now-essential automotive camera, are driving the market.

According to a new report by Yole Developpment (Lyon, France), the compact camera module market is likely to more than double by 2020, reaching $51 billion. Currently, mobile phone cameras account for 73% of the market. The automotive camera market is swiftly growing and will soon take over as second most prevalent in the market, expected to grow at a CAGR of 36%, and should reach $7.9B by 2020.

What else is driving growth? New technology shifts. In burgeoning areas such as 3D, computational, motion, and infrared cameras, multiple sensors, projectors, and others, high quality optics are required. Due to these shifts, the camera module will ultimately become the go-to product for multi-sensing.

Finally, in a boon to Kasalis’ area of the market, the assembly portion of the industry, Yole projected a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 20% (image below). That’s great news, and we hope to embrace and evolve with these burgeoning shifts toward multi-sensing technologies throughout the next five years and beyond.

Compact Camera Module (CCM) Market 2015

Mobile World Congress 2013: Highlights, Camera-Focused App EyeVerify

The MWC just wrapped up in Barcelona, and as the biggest mobile-only event in the world, its audience arrived with high expectations.  News outlets published highly varied impressions of what, exactly, was newsworthy and notable:

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, there was a great deal of disappointment over the dearth of new mobile device breakthroughs.  However, they identified important trends there, including infrastructure innovations for machine-to-machine (or M2M) telematics; tablet apps created by automakers; and low-end mobile phone models to reach new customers.

Wired noted the emerging devices that appear to be a combination of tablets and phones (in some places known as “Phablets”), sized between a typical tablet and mobile phone, and able to make calls.

Finally, in a flurry of coverage, CNET staffers spotted new mobile operating systems from Firefox and Ubuntu, a smartphone screen made of sapphire, and streamlined cyborg-like products.

Of those cyborg-like, human-machine innovations, one caught our eye due to its reliance upon a camera module: EyeVerify, a new security app (in development) that scans your eyeball veins for access to your phone. While previous face recognition apps were fooled with a photo in tests, each person’s “eyeprint” is unique and difficult to imitate.  This next, promising step in mobile authentication will ideally use the front-facing camera so that the screen interface is visible during the scan; however, a 2MP minimum is required (see chart image for smartphone camera pixel trends, below, from this Samsung Report). Since there are many phones in use without a 2MP front-facing camera, the app allows for use of the rear-facing camera as well.  As apps such as EyeVerify continue to grow and prosper, mobile phone manufacturers will recognize the need and customer demand for high quality camera modules in their products.

Camera modules for mobile devices and pixel count trends

Active Alignment: Why it is Essential for Camera Modules in Advanced Electronics

Some may wonder why active alignment is so important to camera module assembly….Well, the primary motivation for manufacturers to push their camera modules into the 21st century by making active alignment standard are recent industry developments such as increasingly thin cell phones, larger aperture cameras, stereoscopic cameras, and vision analysis requirements found in automotive camera applications.

While thinner cell phones can sometimes be outfitted with wafer-level cameras, those cameras are not guaranteed to be aligned correctly due to possible flaws in the wafers, such as a curve (smile) or misaligned sensor.  In addition, these wafer-level cameras only work in extremely low mega-pixel resolutions.  To make a high quality camera that is also thin enough for today’s leanest mobile phones, one must integrate cameras that have been actively aligned in five or six degrees of freedom.

Camera module assembled using active alignment improves focus

The increased use of larger aperture cameras, to enhance performance in low light conditions, also pushes traditionally-assembled camera modules out of contention.  Because the larger aperture lens results in a smaller depth of focus when combined with image sensors with increased resolution and smaller pixels, it is of the utmost importance that the light is properly channeled with a camera assembled using active alignment to garner a focused, high quality image.  Similarly, the trend toward stereoscopic cameras also requires active alignment to best balance the performance of both camera channels appropriately to ensure that the correct tip-tilt angle and centration for each lens generates uniform focus and pointing.

Finally, in camera modules for vehicles, the camera must meet vision analysis requirements so that the vision system can perform object detection as accurately as possible.  Because automotive cameras with machine vision will tell the driver what exactly is near the car, the clearest possible picture is required, and therefore active alignment for the camera module assembly is essential.  Without it, camera manufacturers risk selling modules that produce blurry-edged image results.

Overwhelmingly, industry direction has driven camera modules toward more compact designs with higher megapixels and therefore higher quality images.  Active alignment allows camera modules to be both compact and high quality – and now, with the Kasalis Pixid series, active alignment is available in the most advanced, cost-effective, and compact system on the market.

 

Kasalis Produces Camera Module Alignment Systems

Automated Camera Module Alignment

The Pixid 100 R&D Camera Module Alignment System

Since this is our first blog post, we would like to say welcome and please continue to check back with us for more in-depth material.  We will be writing primarily about optoelectronics, but will likely focus on discussing issues related to camera modules used in cell phones, medical cameras, security cameras, automotive cameras, and webcams.

Our PixidTM camera module assembly systems represent a new approach to active alignment. They come in a variety of models to suit a range of production and budget requirements.  For more information, please visit our website.  We thank you for reading and look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

The Kasalis Team