Aptina And Sony Sign Cross-Licensing Agreement

Digital imaging sensor maker Aptina has announced that it signed a cross licensing agreement with Sony. Each company therefor gains access to the other's patent portfolio. The deal crosses the Pacific Ocean as Aptina is based in California, while Sony is -of course- Japan-based.

Unfortunately, Aptina isn't providing any information beyond the above. We don't know which company made the first move, or who needs what tech from whom. Aptina does, however, specialize in CMOS sensors, especially low-light ones. If we were forced to guess, we'd say Sony is footing the bill on this one (but maybe we are reading too much into the quote below).

"Patents and innovation are a critical component of Aptina's strategy, and Aptina's patent portfolio is the largest and strongest in the image sensor industry," said Bob Gove, President and CTO of Aptina. "We believe that this powerful blend will advance technology to realize our goal of enabling consumers to capture beautiful images and visual information."

Meanwhile Sony has (unofficially) established quite a name for itself in the sensor department. As of late enthusiasts have tracked down the company's sensors in a wide range of respected digital cameras.

It's hard not to bring Nvidia back into this, since the company specifically mentioned both Aptina and Sony in their Chimera press release:

Two important players in the camera imaging sensor market, Sony and Aptina -- with others to be announced -- have already added support for the Chimera Computational Photography Architecture. Sony's Exmor RS IMX135 13 MP sensor and Aptina's AR0833 1/3" 8MP mobile imaging sensor support Chimera architecture, bringing always-on HDR capabilities to market.

SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aptina today announced that it has signed a patent cross-license agreement with Sony, which provides each company with access to the other's patent portfolio.

Aptina and Sony have built industry leading patent portfolios that include seminal image sensor patents covering image capture and processing methods. These technologies are fundamental to the world's growing image sensor industry, with sales of over two billion units annually, and found in almost every consumer electronics device including smart phones, automobiles, tablets, televisions, gaming platforms, medical equipment and digital cameras.

This cross-license agreement enables these two innovation leaders to operate freely and use each other's patented inventions to advance the pace of development for cameras and other imaging applications. The cooperation fostered by the cross-license reinforces the ability of both companies to provide compelling imaging solutions to their customers.

"Patents and innovation are a critical component of Aptina's strategy, and Aptina's patent portfolio is the largest and strongest in the image sensor industry," said Bob Gove, President and CTO of Aptina. "We believe that this powerful blend will advance technology to realize our goal of enabling consumers to capture beautiful images and visual information."

Aptina, the foundational CMOS imaging company, began within Micron Technology in 2001 with acquisitions of early CMOS imaging companies Photobit and then Avago Technologies' image sensor business. Aptina became an independent company in 2009. Aptina delivers advanced CMOS imaging solutions to all major imaging markets and is the leading supplier in many markets including the rapidly growing automotive market.

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Source Business Wire
Channels Business, Phones, Photo and Video
Topics CMOS Sensor, Sony, Sony Exmor, Photography, Aptina, NVIDIA Chimera
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