Specialty foundry Tower Semiconductor Ltd. (Nasdaq: TSEM; TASE: TSEM) and endoscope developer Medigus Ltd. (TASE:MDGS) have successfully tested the second generation of TowerJazz's CMOS imager that serves in Medigus's line of disposable miniature cameras. It is the first video camera in the world with a diameter smaller than 1 mm.
Medigus announced that it completed development of the 0.99-millimeter diameter video camera using through silicon via (TSV) for packaging which minimizes the camera’s size and reduces production costs in high volumes.
TowerJazz said that the low-cost image sensor combines high sensitivity and resolution with dynamic versatility for a range of potential medical applications, including cardiology, bronchoscopy, gastroenterology, gynecology, and orthopedic and robotic surgery. The use of disposable cameras eliminates the need for the very expensive and time-consuming sterilization process related with endoscopic procedures.
TowerJazz will manufacture the camera sensor at its Fab2 in Migdal Ha'Emek using its 0.18-micron CMOS image sensor process. The sensor will be integrated into the camera produced by Medigus.
Medigus will begin supplying samples of the camera to customers in Japan and in the US for cardiology procedures. The camera will be integrated in Medigus’ other endoscopy products and will also be sold to third-party medical equipment manufacturers.
Medigus CEO Dr. Elazar Sonnenschein said, “We are excited to release our second generation disposable camera with advanced features to further progress the medical endoscopic field. Due to our collaboration with TowerJazz, we are able to produce the world’s smallest camera to allow a variety of medical procedures that were previously not possible. In addition, our breakthrough technology provides the medical community and patients with quality and cost-effective diagnostics."
TowerJazz VP and general manager Specialty Business Unit Dr. Avi Strum added, "By using our advanced sensor technology combined with Medigus’ expertise in visualization medical devices, we enable not only the smallest, but the highest performance disposable camera."
Tower's share price fell 1.4% on Nasdaq yesterday to $1.36, giving a market cap of $361 million, and fell 0.2% by mid-afternoon on the TASE today to NIS 4.44. Medigus's share price rose 5% to NIS 1.04, giving a market cap of NIS 77 million.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on May 2, 2011
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