Himax Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:HIMX), through its subsidiary Himax Imaging, has developed a new image sensor called UltraSenseIR. The product appears to have what it takes to get a socket in autonomous vehicles.
According to Himax, UltraSenseIR is a low noise, low power image sensor boasting quantum efficiency of more than 40%. Himax is portraying UltraSenseIR as an advanced sensor for enabling computer and machine vision. As such, sensor could find use in 3D cameras, pattern recognition and autonomous navigation.
One of the reasons Himax believes it has a great product for machine vision applications is that integrating existing sensors presents challenges on multiple fronts. UltraSenseIR, on the other hands, offers a way to overcome those challenges.
“With our breakthrough UltraSenseIR technology, Himax combines the advantages of our highly integrated, low power and low noise BSI sensor technologies with NIR and visible sensitivity in a very small 2.0-micron pixel size to enable high resolution computer vision and NIR imaging applications,” said Amit Mittra, CTO of Himax Imaging.
Himax’s UltraSenseIR operates at 30 frames per second with energy consumption below 140mW. Furthermore, Himax said its new image sensor is easy to program and integrate.
Autonomous vehicle market
The market for vehicles capable of driving themselves is forecast to be huge in the coming years as cities and automakers try to work out a solution to traffic congestion. Research firm IHS predicts that 21 million self-driving cars will be shipped by 2035.
Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F), General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) and BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) are some of the notable companies developing autonomous driving technologies.
Given the race to build smarter vehicles, the average number of sensors and chips used in autonomous vehicles is expected to increase and this should expand the market for products like Himax’s UltraSenseIR.
Himax stock rose 4.4% to $6.22 in the last session. But the stock is down 24% YTD.