Advanced Imaging

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Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

Market Synergies

Consumer Imaging Volumes Can Drive Down Technology Costs
Kodak
The Kodak sensor fab in operation.
Kodak
The Kodak sensor fab in operation.
NVIDIA
The NVIDIA Quadro FX 5500 share technology and production efficiencies with the company's latest generation consumer graphics cards.
Kodak
Two Kodak sensor silicon wafers, and various Kodak sensors including a medium format for camera backs (larger, square sensor), a long sensor for scanners/copiers, small square sensors for camera phones and rectangular sensors for machine vision. Manufacturing synergies cross market boundaries.
Mercury Computer Systems
The Cell Accelerator Board (CAB) is a PCI Express accelerator from Mercury Computer Systems card based on the Cell Broadband Engine (BE) processor. The CAB is designed to deliver 180 GFLOPS of performance in a PCI Express ATX form factor suitable for such applications as rendering, ray tracing, video and image processing and signal processing.
Sony
The Sony DFW-X710 (Industrial) IEEE 1394 camera shares both technology and production synergies with the PDW-F350 XDCAM HD Handycam (professional) camera.
Sony
PDW-F350 XDCAM HD Handycam (professional) camera.
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By Keith Reid

In addition, there is a thriving value-added reseller layer in the display industry that can take the stock components and further modify them, such as adding ruggedization or a touch screen, to meet the needs of niche markets.

CHANGING REVENUES

Ultimately, the specialty markets will always have requirements that go beyond the consumer level, and there will always be some premium charged for filling those lower-volume, specialty needs.

However, the consumer synergies are having an impact on pricing in the speciality markets, and while the decrease in cost is good for the customer it has caused some disruption among the traditional advanced imaging solution providers—from component supplier to integrator. There has been steady consolidation, particularly among camera providers. Some of this is due to an overcapacity of similar solutions, and some is due to changing market dynamics driven by dropping prices and margins. But, this is not entirely new.

"Unfortunately, there are not a lot of customers that come to us and say, we want this product and we don't care what you charge us for it," said DeLuca. "So we have some pretty tough negotiations with all of our customers regardless of the market. We're not the only sensor manufacturer in the world and so there are other people there likely talking to his well and so the impetus on us is to go out and are in that business by making sure we have the right product for them with the right features to meet the need that they have in the market."



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