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IQE

4 November 2013

MCT-based IR detector firm Sofradir moving HQ in expansion

Sofradir of Chatenay-Malabry, near Paris, France, which makes infrared (IR) detectors based on mercury cadmium telluride (MCT/HgCdTe), indium antimonide (InSb), quantum-well infrared photodetector (QWIP) and indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs) technology for military, space, industrial and scientific applications, is to transfer its headquarters to Palaiseau on the Plateau de Saclay, a long-established and growing high-tech center for materials and optics research in the Paris region.

The relocation is a result of Sofradir’s need to expand and increase production. The firm will install the manufacturing and research facilities of three of its IR technologies under a single roof by spring 2014.

Palaiseau is close to many technological research institutions and scientific universities as well as high-tech companies. At the new 4000m2 site, Sofradir will create its second technological center, focused on advanced IR imaging technologies, aiming to duplicate the research and innovation at its main production plant in Veurey-Voroize, near Grenoble, France.

“At the new Palaiseau headquarters, Sofradir will be looking to achieve technological leadership across our whole arsenal of IR technologies,” says chairman & CEO Philippe Bensussan. “We aim to replicate the environment in Grenoble, with the close relationships between industry, universities and research centers that have been key to the successful innovations we’ve accomplished using the single high-performance IR detector technology we have owned for the last 25 years,” he adds.

In December 2012, MCT-based firm Sofradir announced consolidated ownership of all major IR technologies used in the manufacture of IR detectors by acquiring three key technologies (InSb, InGaAs and QWIP) from its parent companies Sagem and Thales as well as III-V Lab GIE (a partnership between Alcatel Lucent, Thales and the CEA research institute that is headquartered at Marcoussis near Paris but also has a site in Palaiseau). “With the addition of these new technologies and our second facilities in Palaiseau, Sofradir is aiming to be the global leader in infrared detectors,” says Bensussan.

Sofradir exports 80% of its IR products for use in military equipment such as thermal imagers, missile seekers, surveillance systems, machine vision, targeting systems or observation satellites. It has produced 6000 IR detectors based on its flagship MCT IR technology (the highest unit volume produced for this type of technology).

“The performance and price of IR detectors are key to the competitiveness of optronics systems,” notes Bensussan. “Giving our customers this competitive edge has always been the main driver of our technological developments. The powerful combination of IR technologies puts us in a far stronger position than ever,” he reckons. “We will be able to offer customers the widest choice of IR product for any application across the whole spectrum, from visible to very far infrared.”

See related items:

Sofradir’s acquires InSb and QWIP & InGaAs IR detector technology from Sagem and Thales

Tags: Sofradir HgCdTe IR detectors InGaAs InSb QWIP

Visit: www.sofradir.com

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