Veurey-Voroize, near Grenoble, France, Feb. 16, 2016—ULIS, a leading manufacturer of thermal image sensors for commercial and military applications, today announces that the company experienced strong growth in 2015, with close to a 20% increase in volume sales over 2014.
New customers in outdoor leisure equipment, continued sustainable growth in traditional markets, such as surveillance, thermography and defense, and several key contract wins drove the bulk of ULIS’ €48M ($52.3M) activity in 2015. ULIS’ volume sales climbed to 94,286 in 2015, up from 79,350 the previous year.
“The pattern of ULIS’ volume sales performance appears to reflect market analyst forecasts of rapid growth within the uncooled infrared camera market, indicating +22% CAGR in units between 2015 – 2020,” said Dr Eric Mounier, senior technology and market analyst, MEMS & Sensors at Yole Développement.
ULIS is also upbeat about further growth opportunities in emerging markets, such as smart building and automotive applications, where it has developed strong leads.
“We exceeded our objectives for 2015; gearing ULIS towards even higher prospects in 2016. I am very happy with my team and their dedication. I thank them for their drive and support,” said Jean-François Delepau, managing director of ULIS. “Our customer base also grew in 2015. The price/performance of our complete portfolio of Pico Gen2 products made a significant impact; they struck the right chord with camera makers and system developers across many market applications. In 2016, we will aim even higher to bring even greater product and service satisfaction to our customers.”
ULIS is the second largest producer of thermal image sensors (microbolometers). These enable all-weather and night vision, intrusion detection and temperature measurement, among others. Since its creation in 2002, the company has delivered 500,000 thermal sensors to equipment makers, helping them produce low weight, low power consumption and cost-effective thermal imaging gear. ULIS is active in traditional infrared (IR) sensor markets. It is increasingly addressing new trends in thermal imaging for energy efficiency in smart building applications, people counting and road safety.
Delepau is confident that the company’s growth rate will maintain the same pace for the next two years, then accelerate due to further penetration into new markets, such as smart buildings and automotive. “As early as January 2015, we saw initial signs that we would secure a high percentage of sales. This year, we have already begun seeing other positive indicators.”
Currently, ULIS is close to going to market with its Pixel Level Packaging (PLP), which is at the industrial process stage. As the pioneer of the 17-micron pixel pitch thermal image sensor, the current industry standard, ULIS is pursuing development of its 12-micron pixel pitch thermal image sensors, which is nearing completion. Pixel pitch is very important for cameras as it contributes to better SWaP (Size Weight and Power) reductions.
Pixel Level Packaging or PLP is a new wafer-based vacuum packaging technology. In this disruptive technology, each pixel is sealed under vacuum using a thin film deposition technology on a wafer. This new technology will allow ULIS to manufacture detectors in an end-to-end collective semiconductor flow. This will make the whole production cycle more efficient, bringing advantages in size, cost and robustness. The pixel level packaging innovation is patented by ULIS. This exclusive technology will enable ULIS to make the manufacturing process of its next generation thermal imaging sensors compatible with emerging mass market volumes.
ULIS, a subsidiary of Sofradir, specializes in the design and manufacture of high quality thermal image sensors for commercial and military applications. It enables makers of consumer electronics and infrared equipment to produce low weight, low power consumption and cost-effective thermal cameras for everyday use.
ULIS is the second largest producer of thermal image sensors (microbolometers). It offers a targeted range of microbolometers that are the key component of many top brands in thermal imaging equipment sold across Europe, Asia and North America. ULIS is active in the surveillance, thermography, defense and leisure markets. Hundreds of thousands of its products are used to detect threats and thereby protect property, industrial sites, national borders and commuter systems as well as military personnel in combat zones. Many other professionals are increasingly choosing thermal imaging devices equipped with ULIS’ products due to the excellent performance of ULIS’ technology and its affordability for mainstream commercial applications. Size, weight, low power consumption and cost reductions drive ULIS innovations, enabling the company to address new trends in smart buildings, road safety and in-cabin comfort of vehicles. ULIS is located in Veurey-Voroize, near Grenoble.