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SiOnyx Announces Black Silicon XQE™ License Program

In response to significant customer demand and the rapidly expanding uses for infrared enhanced CMOS image sensors, SiOnyx today announced the launch of the XQE™ technology licensing program. The program allows sensor designers and manufacturers to independently produce their own products leveraging the company’s proprietary Black Silicon XQE process. XQE, short for extended quantum efficiency, is the secret sauce behind SiOnyx’s black silicon image sensors, which are currently shipping for demanding digital night vision applications.

A 400% Improvement In Sensor Designs

Here’s the problem, commodity image sensors don’t work very well in the infrared range. Their low sensitivity limits applications and detracts from the user experience. The SiOnyx Black Silicon XQE platform solves that problem by providing a 400% improvement in infrared sensitivity.

“Since introducing our XQE family of infrared enhanced CMOS image sensors, we’ve been approached by an overwhelming number of companies seeking to take advantage of the unique performance of black silicon in their own production lines,” said Stephen Saylor, CEO of SiOnyx. “To support these customers we’ve already proven the efficacy and performance gains of our proprietary laser process in a number of third-party designs.”

A Platform For Sensor Innovation

To meet the diversified needs of the market and enable rapid adoption of the XQE platform in applications outside of the company’s core product line, SiOnyx is partnering with industry leaders to make the XQE technology available to a wide variety of applications from robotic surgical cameras to gaming, mobile biometrics and more.

A Robust Portfolio of Intellectual Property

The SiOnyx XQE platform is based on a proprietary laser process known as black silicon discovered by SiOnyx founder Prof. Eric Mazur of Harvard University.

“Infrared imaging has emerged as a critical requirement in mobile devices seeking to add features in natural user interface and biometrics. Adoption of the XQE platform in these markets drives significant economies of scale for SiOnyx and helps to ensure that our technology will dominate the landscape for low cost infrared imaging,” said Eric Mazur, SiOnyx founder and the Balkanski Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Harvard University.

Built on a decade of collaborative research, SiOnyx and Harvard University now hold over 70 patents relating to the black silicon process and sensor integration. SiOnyx is the exclusive licensee of Harvard’s patents relating to black silicon and has developed its own portfolio of XQE CMOS images sensors based on the technology for defense and commercial night vision applications.

“We are excited about both the progress that SiOnyx has made and our continued collaboration. The ground-breaking work of Dr. Mazur is of great interest, and we are delighted that SiOnyx continues to diligently pursue the numerous applications of this high performance infrared imaging technology,” Said Isaac Kohlberg, Senior Associate Provost and Chief Technology Development Officer for Harvard University.

For more information and sample video imagery visit

About SiOnyx

SiOnyx is commercializing a patented semiconductor process that dramatically enhances the sensitivity of silicon-based photonics. SiOnyx’s platform represents a significant breakthrough in the development of smaller, lower cost, high-performing photonic devices in applications ranging from simple light detection to advanced digital imaging and more.

XQETM is a registered trademark of SiOnyx Inc.

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