Tessera and Flextronics Sign Licensing Agreement for Shellcase CF


SAN JOSE, CA - Further paving the way into the consumer optics arena, Tessera announced the first licensing agreement for their wafer-level image sensor packaging technology, Shellcase CF, to Flextronics International Ltd., a camera module manufacturer. The technology goes into assembling optical components integrated into electronic products, especially miniaturized cameras in camera phones.

Shellcase CF features a novel encapsulation process, which protects the image sensor’s active area with an air pocket and glass cover prior to dicing. Typically, when a glass coating is used, it is placed directly on the chip, limiting sensitivity and image quality, explained Mitch Reifel, manager of business development and licensing at Tessera. The air pocket provides a stand-off between the micro-lens and image sensor, eliminating contamination issues and increasing overall yield.

Tessera’s expansion into optical packaging technologies commenced with the acquisition of Shellcase Ltd. in December 2005. Shellcase CF technology was introduced in July 2006, and was followed by the acquisition of Digital Optics Corporation, developers and designers of micro-optical solutions. “Chip-scale packaging [such as CF] provides a technology base from which to introduce wafer-level optics in the future,” noted Reifel, adding that, “strategically, wafer-level optics will build upon the foundation of wafer-level packaging.”

The agreement between Tessera and Flextronics is non-exclusive, and the company is discussing agreements with other companies. Flextronics has purchased the rights to use the technology internally, and will not be offering it on the open market.

“Flextronics is one of the largest module makers using chip-on-board technology,” said Reifel. “Their licensing is an endorsement of this technology. We hope this builds momentum in the marketplace.”