Himax Q3 2017 Update Focuses on 3D Imaging and NIR

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Himax Q3 2017 report has an update on the company's imaging business:

The Company believes 3D sensing is among the most significant new features for the next generation smartphone. The Company’s SLiM product line, based on structured light technology, is a state of the art total solution for 3D sensing. Himax’s goal is to provide total solutions with performance, size, power consumption and costs all suitable for smartphones and tablets. Himax offers fully integrated structure light modules, with the vast majority of the key technologies inside the module also developed and supplied by the Company. These critical in-house technologies include advanced optics utilizing the Company’s world leading WLO technology, laser driver IC, high precision active alignment for the projector assembly, high performance near-infrared CMOS image sensor and, last but not least, an ASIC chip for 3D depth map generation. The fact that all of these critical building blocks are developed in-house puts the Company in a unique position. Himax is able to react quickly and tailor its solutions to customers’ specific needs.

It also represents a very high barrier of entry for any potential competition and a much higher ASP for the Company. While the Company prefers to offer a total solution, it can also provide the aforementioned individual technologies separately to select customers so as to best accommodate their specific needs.

Thanks to the Company’s absolute technology leadership, its progress made with the fully integrated structure light 3D sensing total solution module is very exciting. Himax is seeing strong demand for 3D sensing solutions from numerous tier 1 customers. The Company is in close collaboration with select leading smartphone makers and partners right now, aiming to bring its total solution to mass production as early as early 2018 to meet the customers' aggressive launch timetables. Moreover, given that the Company is offering highly integrated solutions with ASPs much higher than those of individual components, by the time the Company starts shipping its total solutions, they will be a major contributor to both Himax’s revenues and profit, and consequently create a more favorable product mix for the Company.

Himax continues to make great progress with its two machine vision sensor product lines, namely, near infrared (“NIR”) sensor and Always-on-Sensor (“AoS”). The Company’s NIR sensor is a critical part in the structured light 3D sensing total solution. The Company’s NIR sensors’ overall performance is far ahead of those of its peers in 3D sensing applications. Himax currently offers low noise HD, or 1 megapixel, and 5.5 megapixel NIR sensors and is planning to add more to further enrich its product portfolio. Himax’s NIR sensors deliver superior quantum efficiency in the NIR range, especially over 940nm band which is critical for outdoor applications.

The Company’s AoS solutions provide super low power computer vision, which enables new applications across a wide variety of industries. The ultra-low power, always-on vision sensor is a powerful solution capable of detecting, tracking and recognizing its environment in an extremely efficient manner using just a few milliwatts of power. The Company is pleased to report that it already has one major global brand leveraging its AoS in their new high end TV models, which have already hit the market.

For the traditional human vision segments, Himax sees strong demand in notebooks and increased shipments for multimedia applications such as car recorders, surveillance, drones, home appliances, and consumer electronics, among others

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