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News Releases 2007
ITOCHU Concludes Capital and Business Tie-Up with U.S. Liquid Lens Development Venture
December 17, 2007
ITOCHU Corporation is pleased to announce an agreement with Holochip Corporation (New Mexico, "Holochip") of the United States, under which ITOCHU will take an equity stake and begin a product development and sales alliance. Based on the liquid lens technologies owned by Holochip, compact and thin auto-focusing lenses and zoom lens modules will be jointly developed in anticipation of rising demand for these products for a number of industrial applications.
The liquid lenses of Holochip imitate the lens of human eyes. They are formed by sealing liquid in a case made of transparent polymer membrane. The liquid lens form is expanded and changed by exerting horizontal forces from the surroundings, enabling the lens focal distance to be changed. As such, focusing and zooming becomes possible without mechanically changing the distances between several solid lenses (made of glass and plastic) comprising the conventional lens modules. As a result, the number of lenses in a lens module can be reduced and made thinner. Because of this, the lenses are expected to find widespread application in the next-generation lens modules for mobile phone and other compact terminals.
ITOCHU regards the liquid lenses of Holochip as one of the key technologies for next-generation optical products. With this strategic tie-up, ITOCHU will bolster next-generation product development and sales in Japan and other parts of Asia. At present, the product range of Holochip comprises only the lenses for optical researches (of 10mm diameter). In the near future, however, new compact lenses and other products will be jointly developed, to be manufactured and sold in collaboration with Itochu Group companies and other Japanese companies.
Holochip is a venture based in the State of New Mexico, and the tie-up with ITOCHU is the outcome of the comprehensive partnership formed between the New Mexico State Government and ITOCHU in 2004. ITOCHU remains committed to identifying and commercializing unique and cutting-edge technologies in the State.
ITOCHU has positioned the life-care, infrastructure, new-technology and environment and energy fields as important target sectors in Frontier+ 2008, its medium-term business plan. ITOCHU will continue to pursue strategies that focus on these areas, with the aim of generating future profits.