Are we all clients of Sony ?

Started Jun 16, 2013 | Discussions thread
MarkInSF Senior Member • Posts: 2,237
Re: Good point; clarification

Bobn2 wrote:

MarkInSF wrote:

I know that Nikon essentially designs its own sensors, though I was under the mistaken belief that there was a bit of Sony in their, too.

The truth is much stranger and more interesting. What there is in Nikon sensors is more than a bit of Mtsubishi. If you track the names on the patents, then you find that the core team came from Mitsubishi, and Renesas that does the fab is a successor to Mitsubishi Semiconductor. Now if you go back to the origins of canon sensors, and look at the papers they publish you find that Canon collaborated with Mitsubishi Semiconductor to get their sensor operation off the ground (Canon had no semiconductor design expertise at the time), and indeed one individual was in both teams. So the truth is that Nikon sensors have a bit of Canon in them.

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Bob

Oy.   I bet they don't like that.   Doesn't surprise me, though.   My partner used to work for a company spun off from NEC in an attempt to commercialize some work done at their research lab in Princeton.   NEC, like most big companies, especially the Japanese giants, had a lot of cool stuff coming out of their labs but the companies moved so slowly they were making no money off them.   Some nimble startup, usually American, always got established first.   So they decided to give the IP toban American startup andclet thembrun with it.  Lots of agreements were made and key people hired and granted stock options (it was about 15 years ago).   Then NEC discovered they would have to pay a small fee for every product they made using this technology.   That was a necessary part of the agreement to spin off this company.   The problem was that several NEC competitors were going to get to use the IP for free due to cross-licensing agreements.   Paying for 'their' technology and 'giving' it to Sony and Panasonic was too much, especially since they had decided to push this as an essential piece of a major standard.   So they sneakily pulled the plug on the spin-off, in violation of the agreement, all the shareholders sued and got very nice settlements.   The technology wasn't adopted as part of the standard and never made a penny for anyone except the core employees/shareholders who sued and settled (including my partner).   I got a free trip to Tokyo (business class) out of NEC.  It was all very revealing of how slow and inbred Japanese companies can be.   Tokyo was lovely.

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