AMS plans to support key US customers from the location which is a hub of photonics expertise.
"Rochester is the perfect choice for AMS to expand its research and development in the transformative fields of consumer imaging and photonics, to create design innovations that make an impact on our world," said David Sackett, a senior R&D manager with AMS and the site manager, in a statement.
AMS positon in optical sensing is based on its abilities in VCSEL (Vertical Cavity Surface-Emitting Laser) illumination, behind-OLED sensing, micro-scale proximity sensing, spectral and bio-sensing, and other optical applications.
AMS said that it expects many technologies to be added to the basic visual camera to drive the smartphone market. These will include automatic white balancing (AWB), laser-detect autofocus (LDAF) / 1D ToF, wide-range flicker detection and AR-oriented camera support functions.
In 2015 AMS announced plans to rent a wafer fab that would be built for it by the State of New York but these were subsequently dropped (see AMS pulls out of $2 billion wafer fab project ). The wafer fab project, based at Marcy in the Mohawk Valley in upstate New York, broke ground with a ceremony in April 2016 but funding problems subsequently became apparent with a lack of activity.
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