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Modified Internal Gate image sensor for low light optimised Out-door Security surveillance Applications

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - MIGOSA (Modified Internal Gate image sensor for low light optimised Out-door Security surveillance Applications)

Reporting period: 2014-11-01 to 2015-04-30

Pixpolar has developed and patented a novel Modified Internal Gate (MIG) image sensor technology providing superior image quality particularly in low light. In outdoor low light conditions Pixpolar’s technology provides up to two times higher detection range, considerably sharper images, and immunity to interference. The benefits of Pixpolar’s superior low light image quality can particularly be reaped in outdoor Security & Surveillance (S&S) camera applications.

Market survey concerning Security & Surveillance and Camera Manufacturers gave strong positive signal concerning demand and supported Pixpolar’s original view of the needs of Camera Manufacturers. Consequently the survey confirmed the potential of MIG-image sensors in the field of Security & Surveillance.

The purpose of the freedom to operate study was to confirm that the existing IPR of portfolio of Pixpolar on low light optimised image sensor technology is not infringed by any external technology or IPR in the commercialisation of the MIG-sensors. The result reads: “No relevant patent documents were found”. That clearly means that Pixpolar’s MIG technology is well protected and therefore it gives full freedom to operate and safety to proceed commercially as planned.

The manufacturability check study (SensorCreations Inc., SemiConsultor EURL, and Pixpolar Oy) proved that the MIG-sensor is manufacturable with a 5 V 0.18 um CMOS process and it can be manufactured by more than one foundry.
1. Market studies
The market studies and meetings with camera manufacturers were considered to be important in order to ensure that all relevant aspects were taken into account in the MIG image sensor design and that there is enough demand from the customers i.e. camera manufacturers. Market estimates and business strategies carried out previously by Pixpolar, had shown that more detailed information was needed for ensuring the commercial success of the MIG image sensor.

1.1 Security & Surveillance Market Study
The first of the market studies dealt with the overall security & surveillance image sensor market acquired from “Techno Systems Research Co., Ltd” specialising in market research.
According Techno Systems Research Co (later TSR) December 2014 Market Research Report, CCD/CMOS Area Image Sensor Market Analysis the security & surveillance camera sensor market has been growing faster than it was originally anticipated.

1.2 Camera Manufacturer Market Study
The other part of the market studies was Security & Surveillance Camera Manufacturers market study. Innevo Consulting Ltd conducted the “Product Concept Testing and Lead Generation” activities survey on behalf of Pixpolar Ltd.

The survey of Innevo Consulting gives strong positive signal concerning the market demand and it supports Pixpolar’s original view of the needs of Camera Manufacturers. Correspondingly comes TSR security & surveillance market research to the same conclusion. Both of these surveys support the views expressed in the Pixpolar’s Business Plan and consequently no major modifications in the Plan are needed.

2. Freedom to operate
The purpose of the freedom to operate study was to confirm that the existing IPR of portfolio of Pixpolar on low light optimised image sensor technology is not infringed by any external technology or IPR in the commercialisation of the MIG-sensors.An independent third party study was ordered to validate the freedom-to-operate study. Substantial studies have already been carried out while applying for the patents granted on the MIG technology. The Finnish Patent and Registration Office, Patents and Innovation Line, Service and Advisory Service as an independent third party was chosen to carry out this task. As a Finnish Patent and Registration Office, Patents and Innovation Line, Service and Advisory Service’s report says: “No relevant patent documents were found”. This clearly means that Pixpolar’s MIG technology is well protected and therefore it gives full freedom to operate and safety to proceed commercially as planned.

3. Manufacturability Check Study

Pixpolar’s manufacturability check study was done by Pixpolar, SensorCreations Inc. (SCI) and SemiConsultor.
The feasibility of manufacturing a MIGFET pixel array was systematically investigated from design to fabrication through the design of an 8 micron pixel, for which Pixpolar had done process and device simulations.
As SensorCrations Inc.’s, SemiConsultor’s, and Pixpolar’s manufacturability check studies proved, the MIG-sensor is manufacturable with a 5 V 0.18 um CMOS process and it can be manufactured by more than one foundry.
In the original plan security & surveillance market volume in 2016 was estimated to be 79 million sensors with 10% yearly growth rate. However according TSR latest forecast, volumes are expected to be significantly higher: in 2016, 157,3 million; in 2017, 173 million; in 2018, 185,8 million and in 2019, 198,7 million sensor shipments in the security and surveillance segment. Market size and volume in this segment in 2019 is expected to be almost double compared to previous market studies. TSR report further confirmed Pixpolar’s original view of the strong existence of the market and underpins the basis of the original Business Plan.

It also clear now that MIG image sensor is manufacturable and there are foundries capable to produce Pixpolar's products.
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