FLIR Systems acquires assets from DigitalOptics

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Thermal imaging manufacturer FLIR Systems said Monday that it acquired certain assets of DigitalOptics Corp.'s micro-optics business for $14.9 million.

DigitalOptics designs and makes imaging systems for smartphones. FLIR purchased the company from Tessera Technologies, which has owned it since 2005.

Included in the purchase are fabrication equipment and more than 200 patents and pending applications associated with the design and production of complex optical surfaces, substrates and low-cost components, according to the company.

DigitalOptics' micro-optics business, based in Charlotte, N.C., is a leading fabricator of specialty optics products, including lenses, lens arrays, optical receivers and transceivers, and infrared optical components. The technologies are used in an array of industries and applications, including security, surveillance, photolithography, data communications, laser-based medical equipment and 3D gesture recognition.

"Bringing this low-cost, wafer-scale micro-optics technology to our operations provides us significant capability and cost advantages as we move into high-volume markets for thermal imaging," FLIR president and CEO Andy Teich said in a statement. "We look forward to adding these proprietary processes, manufacturing capabilities and experienced engineering and production personnel to FLIR."

Tessera said during the fourth quarter of 2012 that its micro-optics business was no longer part of its long-term strategy and that it was exploring strategic alternatives for the business.

"This transaction is one of the substantive structural changes we announced we would make in the second half of 2013 as we continue to refine our focus on our differentiated MEMS-related technologies," Tessera interim CEO Thomas Lacey said in a statement.

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