ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Austrian-based ams AG is growing an operation in Rochester to take advantage of our research and development capabilities.
David Sackett, the Senior Director of Research and Development and the New York Site Manager for ams AG, discussed the local growth Wednesday during our Greater Rochester Enterprise Why ROC conversation.
“So ams is a 35-year-old company based in Austria in Europe,” said Sackett. “They’ve got a strong business in lighting – everything from automotive LED headlights to commercial lighting, and then image sensors and optical modules.”
Employees in Rochester are putting their technical skills to the test. “We’re working on R&D and the development of new image sensor IC chips,” Sackett explained. “So these are the digital eyeballs that go into high-moving situations, high-moving applications like wearables, or robots, or AR and VR. Those are the type of digital eyeballs that we’re focused on designing here in Rochester.”
Sackett said Rochester is an ideal community to perform this type of highly-skilled work. “These systems require – an image sensor requires – an optical system to go with that – the lens, assembly, and things like that – and it’s highly steeped in digital image science, these things that are implanted inside these chips. And so here in Rochester, we’ve got a huge resource talent pool of all of those things between Kodak and Xerox and Bausch + Lomb. We’ve got a great talent pool of both image science, image sensors, optical design, optical systems, and camera systems, so this is really the perfect place. If you’re going to grow this type of business, Rochester has all of the pieces you need. It has a fantastic expert talent pool and there are a lot of small companies here that we can work with and partner with to leverage all of these different pieces in the ecosystem.”
In the last six months ams AG has added about 15 people to its local operation according to Sackett. The hope is to double that number by the end of the year. “We’re picking up a lot of great experts from the original Kodak development team, but then there’s a lot of great talent here in the area that we’ve also pulled together,” he said. “We’ve pulled together a really strong team.”
The ultimate vision for ams AG in Rochester is to provide a key U.S. hub for other companies. “There’s a lot of state-of-the-art work being done here in the U.S. with a lot of major companies in AR/VR, drones, and robotics,” noted Sackett. “Supporting that from Europe is very difficult. So we will be the staging point for supporting their R&D teams for these next-generation products – designing products specifically to enable this next generation of robotics and AR/VR, eye tracking, drowsy driver monitoring, things like that – things that need this special kind of sensor and optics. We’re designing those chips today for those products next year.”
To learn more about ams AG, visit ams.com.
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