IMEC hyperspectral spin-off raises $16 million

August 03, 2021 // By Peter Clarke
IMEC hyperspectral spin-off raises $16 million
Spectricity NV (Mechelen, Belgium), a 2018 spin-off in hyperspectral imaging from research institute IMEC has raised €14 million (about US$16 million) in Series B funding.

This round brings Spectricity to €20 million (about US$24 million) in total funding to date.

CEO Vincent Mouret, said the company would use the money to accelerate its plans to deliver hyperspectral image sensors for smartphones and other mobile and consumer devices.

Spectricity works with conventional CMOS image sensors and its technology can be used to form multi-layered interference filters in the near infrared part of the spectrum. The filters are made from "fab-friendly" oxides and metals – not III-V materials – and provide a high degree of spectrum differentiation. The technology works up to a wavelength of about 1,000 nanometers.

By putting nine to 15 such IR frequency-selective filters on a sensor, pixel-by-pixel and then calibrating the output curves it is possible to "see" additional features of an object at relatively high resolution. Applications include such things as blood oxygenation, hydration of the skin, to whether food is fresh.

Another application is using the hyperspectral filter to determine the nature of scene illumination and use it to drive improved colour balance in photographs taken with the main image sensor. Hyperspectral imaging can also be used to image skin blemishes and spot melanoma.

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