TAMPERE, Finland -- Primoceler announces a new contract with the European Space Agency to design and manufacture complete CMOS sensor packages for orbital missions. Working with Primoceler on this contract will be ON Semiconductor.
Based on ON Semiconductor's HAS3 hermetic design, CMOS sensors are encased in an impermeable seam of glass using laser welding technology, which helps to avoid any problems due to thermal changes, ensuring long-time stability.
"Hermeticity testing from a US laboratory proves that our glass weld has better than <6,0x10-12 atmcc3/s Kr-85 leakage rate, well exceeding the current military and aerospace standards," explained Ville Hevonkorpi, general manager at Primoceler. "Our new ESA contract marks the continuation of a fruitful and productive relationship. We're pleased to be involved with missions that will advance scientific knowledge and inspire humanity's quest for a better understanding of the universe."
In February 2014, Primoceler celebrated its selection as the developer and fabricator of optical sensor packages for ESA orbital missions. Primoceler partnered with ON Semiconductor to engineer a solution that far exceeded the agency's exacting requirements for hermeticity. Together with Primoceler, ON Semiconductor is developing a new hermetic package design for a coming HAS3 CMOS sensor and for future products. "We are excited to work together with Primoceler on this exciting new opportunity which will further expand our IP and knowledge about advanced packaging technologies," said Chris McNiffe, VP of the image sensor business unit at ON Semiconductor.
The primary challenge with orbital missions is fabricating hardware that can protect sensitive electronics for the long term while also enduring rapid temperature and pressure changes, not to mention the vacuum of space. Primoceler's glass welding more than meets those demands. Glass offers a fully hermetic seal of all components, along with an extremely small heat affected zone during the welding process. Meanwhile, the finished seam requires no adhesives and provides excellent mechanical properties and durability.
Representing ESA, Liam Murphy remarked that Primoceler's precision technologies hold promise for a range of applications. "Laser and glass welding have intriguing possibilities for optical device packaging, as well as other applications in the hi reliability markets. The process has already shown its potential effectiveness in solving problems for which there has never been a practical solution."
Outside of CMOS sensors for ESA orbital missions, Primoceler's cutting-edge welding technology has practical applications for the healthcare, military and consumer electronics sectors, among others. Partnering with ON Semiconductor presents a chance to further explore new industries around the world.
Hevonkorpi added: "We have been fortunate to leverage the knowledge and experience of ON Semiconductors on this latest project. A global organization, ON Semiconductors is enabling us to investigate some compelling new markets."
Primoceler continues to expand its reach at a healthy pace. In addition to exciting new opportunities in Asia and the US, the company has even begun conversations with interested parties in Australia and several European nations.