Tessera unveils technology to produce tiny wafer-level digital cameras

  • San Jose (CA) – Tessera, an IP company specialized on semiconductor packaging technologies, introduced a wafer-level digital camera, which is about half the size as today’s digital cameras that are integrated into mobile devices such as cellphones.

    The new camera, called OptiML WLC, is the first digital camera of its kind that is manufactured entirely on the wafer level. Compared to the traditional way of building digital CMOS cameras, which involves optical elements that are created through plastic injection molding and glass molding as well as a relatively complicated process to match the optical unit to the IC, Tessera is using lenses that are produced on a wafer level and are automatically attached to the sensor package.

    The result of this simplified wafer technology yields a digital camera that is about half the size of today’s cellphone digital camera. According to Tessera, the OptiML WLC is about 30% cheaper to manufacture than today’s devices.


    The company said that the camera has a height of less than 2.5 mm; the device is promised to scale from VGA resolution (640 x 480) to “multi megapixel” and offer features such as autofocus and digital zoom.

    Tessera said that it will license the blueprints for the OptiML WLC, but not build the device itself. The company announced last year that more than 10 billion semiconductors using the firm’s packaging technology have been shipped since 1990.