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Osram Acquires VCSEL Firm Vixar

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Strengthens portfolio for security applications via acquisition

Osram has acquired US-based fabless VCSEL firm Vixar to widen its portfolio of security products.

Vixar was founded by pioneers in the VCSEL industry, having first brought VCSEL to the data communication market in the late 1990s, and more recently by founding Vixar in 2005 to pursue sensing applications.

Approximately 20 employees of the company, which is based in Plymouth, Minnesota, will transfer to Osram as a result of the acquisition.

Vixar is profitable both on an operational and net results level. The parties to the deal have agreed not to disclose financial details. Closing of the transaction is expected in summer.

"The acquisition of Vixar is adding to our expertise, particularly in the fast-growing market for security technologies," said Olaf Berlien, CEO of Osram Licht AG.

While currently known primarily for identification applications in mobile devices, VCSEL also can be used to recognise gestures and measure distances in medical, industrial, and automotive applications.

Osram has already succeeded in bringing to market infrared light sources for fingerprint sensors, iris scanners, and 2D facial recognition. The acquired capabilities from Vixar will pave the way for further security technologies, including ultra-compact 3D facial recognition. In addition to unlocking smartphones and other consumer electronics devices, such technologies also can be used for high-security access controls in industry.

The way in which VCSEL technology captures 3D environmental data has applications in everything from gesture recognition, augmented reality, robotics, and proximity sensors to autonomous driving.

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