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Mark Peters : March 29th 2005 - 11:30 CET

OmniVision CMOS image sensors aquires CDM Optics

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OmniVisionOmniVision CMOS sensors aquires CDM Optics : OmniVision Technologies, one of the world's leading suppliers of CMOS image sensors, announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire all of the outstanding securities of CDM Optics, Inc. CDM, a privately held Boulder, Colorado-based corporation, is the exclusive licensee of patented technology, developed by its co-founders, that substantially increases the performance of a camera system by increasing the depth of field and/or correcting optical aberrations of a photographic image. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close no later than April 30, 2005.
OmniVision CMOS image sensors aquires CDM OpticsOmniVision - Wavefront Coding
The technology, known as Wavefront Coding, uses novel optics and innovative algorithms to transform the essential task of focusing a lens from an opto-mechanical process to one of optical encoding and signal processing. The technology can significantly expand the depth of field of an image, meaning that the image is in focus over a much wider range of distances from the lens. Wavefront Coding reduces the size and complexity of the auto-focus function, by eliminating motors and actuators.

OmniVision and CDM - Combining expertises
Commenting on the acquisition, Shaw Hong, chairman and CEO of OmniVision, said, "Joining forces with CDM underscores OmniVision's determination to remain at the forefront of imaging technology. Combining CDM's expertise in optics and signal processing with our expertise in developing powerful image data processors will increase the value of our content in the camera system. By shifting from mechanics and conventional optics to advanced high-volume silicon processes, camera phone makers will be able to reduce the overall cost of an auto-focus and zoom camera module while reducing the reliability issues and supply limitations associated with current systems. Digital still camera makers will be able to incorporate auto-focus functionality in high-volume entry-level products. The technology will likewise be applicable in emerging markets for CMOS image sensors such as automotive and medical-imaging applications." R.C. "Merc" Mercure, Jr., chairman and CEO of CDM, said, "My colleagues and I are both excited and delighted at the prospect of being part of OmniVision. This transaction will enable us to develop and commercialize the technology far more rapidly than we could on our own."

OmniVision and CDM - Stocks
Of the $30 million purchase price, $20 million is payable at closing, $10 million in cash and $10 million in OmniVision common stock with each share valued at 140% of the average closing price of the stock for the five trading days prior to the last trading day before closing. A further $10 million is payable in cash following the shipment by OmniVision of a predetermined number of revenue-producing units that incorporate CDM's technology. Following the achievement of the milestone, CDM's security-holders will have the right to require OmniVision to repurchase their stock at the 140% price unless, in the interim, OmniVision's common stock has traded above the 140% price for ten consecutive trading days.

OmniVision - CDM subsidiary of Omnivision
Following the closing, all of CDM's eighteen employees are expected to remain with the Company, and CDM will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of OmniVision. CDM will remain in its existing location close to the Boulder campus of the University of Colorado, whose affiliate, University License and Equity Holdings, Inc., owns the patents, and where the early work on this technology was done.

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