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Point Grey Comments on Sony CCD Line Closure, Renews Commitment to Product Lifetimes into 2026
FLIR Systems, Inc. Posted 03/27/2015Point Grey, a global leader in the design and manufacturing of innovative, high-performance digital cameras, today commented on Sony's CCD line closure and addressed questions regarding the lifetime of Point Grey's Sony CCD-based camera products.
Point Grey confirmed that Sony Semiconductor will discontinue operations of their CCD 200mm wafer line at Kagoshima Technology Center in Japan by the end of March 2017. This line is responsible for production of all Sony CCD image sensors used in Point Grey cameras. Point Grey did not confirm exact last-time buy (LTB) or last-time ship (LTS) dates for the affected CCDs, commenting that recently publicized dates of August 2015 and March 2020, respectively, should not be considered final. "Point Grey has been actively discussing details about the closure directly with Sony," said Michael Gibbons, Director of Sales and Marketing at Point Grey. "This is a very dynamic situation and final details, including official last-time buy and ship dates, have not yet been released publicly by Sony. We caution our customers against making quick decisions based on preliminary information circulating the Internet."
Point Grey also commented that no last-time buy dates have been set for affected Point Grey products. "We respect the investment our customers have made integrating Point Grey cameras with Sony CCDs into their systems," said Gibbons. "Our first priority is to continue to support our customers with long product lifetimes, and we will take all reasonable measures to keep those commitments. We are proud to look back on our history and see many products, such as our Dragonfly2 FireWire camera series, still being offered 10 years later. To support this commitment Point Grey will be approaching customers this year and into 2016 for forecasts that will enable us to continue supplying Sony CCD-based cameras until 2026."
Point Grey commented that the company continues to see high and growing demand worldwide for both CCD and CMOS sensor technology, and believes that CCD technology will continue to play an important part in the imaging world for many years to come. "Our goal is to provide customers with three options," said Gibbons. "First is to continue to buy their existing Sony CCD-based cameras for the natural lifespan of the systems they're designed into. If customers are happy with these products there is no need to change. For those customers who still prefer CCD technology but want to explore alternatives to Sony, we are actively adding new CCDs from suppliers such as Sharp into our camera lineup. And finally, for those customers interested in the benefits of CMOS technology, we will continue to lead the charge in integrating image sensors from companies like Sony and On Semi into our products."
In January 2014 Point Grey became the first company in the world to ship cameras using Sony's ground-breaking Pregius™ global shutter CMOS technology. The company followed up on this success in early 2015 by being first to market with GigE Vision cameras based on CCDs from Sharp Corporation, a well-established sensor manufacturer with a long history of servicing the security industry. "Over the last several years we have been very focused on integrating sensors from a variety of manufacturers to better meet our customers’ needs," said Gibbons. "We don't believe in forcing customers down a path they're not prepared, or willing, to go down. We believe in offering customers choice. This is our number one goal."
Point Grey is encouraging customers affected by this change to contact their local sales representative with any questions they may have or for further information.