ISORG Moves Closer to Commercialization
There are quite a number of printed electronics manufacturers who have made the leap from the lab to pilot production. The next step is to bring their product into commercialization, which takes a great deal of effort, both in terms of finding the right markets and upsizing their company.
ISORG is successfully navigating the path to commercialization. Founded in May 2010, ISORG, or Image Sensor Organic, in partnership with CEA-LITEN, the French Laboratory of Innovation for New Energy Technologies and Nanomaterials, introduced the Magic Pad in 2011.
The Magic Pad a flexible organic photo-detector array demonstrator that can transform glass and plastic into smart surfaces. Potential applications include consumer electronics, interactive packaging, home appliances, industrial displays and games. By mid-2011, ISORG had caught the eye of designers, and was developing its own manufacturing line on Grenoble, France.
Now, two years later, Laurent Jamet, business development and co-founder of ISORG, said the company has continued to grow worldwide while further developing its sensor technology.
"We now have 18 people in our company, with a team in Hong Kong for international business development," Jamet said. "We have a team dedicated to product development able to develop all the opto-electronics systems to offer whole solutions to our customers: sensor design and production and complete system development (sensor, readout electronics and signal processing) and integration (system-in-foil).
"We started industrial transfer in July 2012 with our pilot manufacturing line located in Grenoble," Jamet added. "This line is a 500m2 clean room with a complete set of printing equipment (screen printing, gravure printing, slot die coating). Our manufacturing process (fully printed) will be qualified for mass production by the end of this year."
Jamet added that ISORG is currently building its mass production facilities as well.
"We have launched building and installation for our mass production unit, also located in Grenoble, in different facilities than the existing pilot line," Jamet said. "We plan mass production in volumes by the end of 2014, beginning of 2015. We have been starting international fund raising activity and are currently in discussions with several investors."
ISORG has further refined its sensor technology to meet the needs of customers. Last year, in conjunction with a customer, the company developed an image sensor prototype at a resolution of 150um by combining its organic photodetector technology with a silicon transistor array. Jamet added that developments are on going for a combination of ISORG's organic photodetectors with an organic transistor matrix array (full plastic image sensor).
These image sensors can be used in numerous applications.
"Printed photodetectors and image sensors are offering new functionalities or benefits to a large number of markets," Jamet said. "Large area sensing offers a very competitive area-cost ratio, mechanical integration (thin, light, conformable), fast and inexpensive custom design and proprietary customer solution. Our sensors enable various functionalities such as large scanning, large area object detection, interactive surfaces for proximity and contactless hand detection."
These markets include the medical x-ray imaging industry, smart packaging, smart textiles, smart pill dispenser at pharmacies, diagnostics and home appliances.
With its technology in place, Jamet said that ISORG is working closely with companies in a wide range of fields to integrate its sensor technology.
"We have met leading international companies that came to us to develop innovative products and functionalities," Jamet said. "We have been starting several collaborations, prototype proof-of-concept and product prototype developments for major companies, and we have identified short term business opportunities for the industrial segment with leading customers. We have also identified longer term opportunities for integration of our technology in displays, such as laptops and tablets, and have been contacted by major OEM companies in the consumer electronics market.
"A disruptive innovation is to propose an 'all-in-one' technology for a user interface based on optical sensors for seamless tactile-like navigation and 3D gesture recognition, a scanning surface for document scanning and user identification," Jamet added. "We have also identified opportunity for integration of our technology in CMOS cameras, replacing silicon photodiodes by organic photodiodes to offer improved performances (low noise, high dynamic range, operation in visible and near infrared). We plan to offer a licence business model to the display and CMOS sensor industries to transfer our technology in to their manufacturing sites. We have also started development of a new generation of sensors: printed temperature sensors for industrial markets."
By David Savastano
Printed Electronics Now