SK Hynix Invests in Stratio

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Korea Times: SK Hynix has invested 2.2 billion won (~ $1.86M) in Stratio, a Silicon Valley startup, in what officials say is a part of a corporate strategy to increase its stake in the rising image sensor segment. For that amount, SK Hynix got a 9.1% stake in Stratio. Other Stratio investors include K Cube Ventures (Tech for Korea), a venture company that funds and supports startups and young entrepreneurs in Korea, that invested $1M in October 2014.

Stratio develops Ge-on-Si based SWIR image sensors, said to be cheaper than their predecessors. The company has been established in 2013 and led by Lee Jae-hyung, who worked at Boston Consulting Group and Samsung Electronics. Stratio Photonics West 2015 presentation sheds some light on its technology and value proposition:

Semicon West startup introduction page states: "Stratio, Inc. was founded in 2013 by four Stanford Electrical Engineering PhDs. Stratio’s core technology is low-cost germanium (Ge) based short wavelength infrared (SWIR) image sensors suitable for incorporation with mobile devices. Stratio’s sensor utilizes a proprietary hybrid process that combines selective Ge epitaxial growth with established Si CMOS technology to overcome the limitations of conventional InGaAs-based SWIR sensors. Stratio's unique manufacturing process has a high thermal budget and results in a two chip package (sensor and ROIC) that allows for greater manufacturing flexibility than traditional monolithic sensor solutions. In addition, Stratio is developing a low-cost, portable hyperspectral imaging system for use with our sensor."

Stratio's Youtube video from May 2014 shows its SWIR camera attachment for iPhone:

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