Pixim acquires Israeli image sensor maker Advasense

Pixim, a maker of high-quality security camera chips, said today it has acquired image sensor maker Advasense for an undisclosed price.

The deal shows that there are still some cycles of consolidation and innovation that can happen in the security camera chip market, where the aim is to provide better and better imaging technology at lower costs. And it suggests that security cameras are going to get better and better, as is needed in an age where many people are worried about crime and terrorism.

Mountain View, Calif.-based Pixim makes image sensor chips with high-dynamic range, or the ability to discern images in scenes with low light and bright light at the same time, as pictured above. They’re ideal for security applications, allowing security guards to review a camera’s images and to make out a person’s face in a scene. Advasense Technology, based in Ra’anana, Israel, also makes next-generation CMOS (complimentary metal oxide semiconductor) image sensors for use in next-generation mobile applications.

Advasense has deployed several breakthrough innovations in high-resolution image sensors. Pixim, meanwhile, has seen strong growth of its Seawolf image sensor chips in the video security market. Pixim says that the Advasense team complements Pixim’s own engineering team in image sensor design.

The Seawolf chip can be used in devices such as web-connected security cameras at retail, banking, gambling, schools, transit, commercial and industrial sites. The Pixim chips compete with charge-coupled device (CCD) chips made by companies such as Panasonic and Sony. Pixim’s customers include Dallmeier, March Networks, Genie CCTV, Ovii, and UTC.

Pixim’s chips have been very popular in China. In the U.S., government agencies have been installing security cameras for Homeland Defense reasons. Corporations are also installing cameras that do a better job of capturing faces of people going in and out of buildings. In the United Kingdom, the government has also installed widespread security cameras to deter crime.

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