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Austrian Chip Maker Takes the Black Run

Shares in 3D sensing technology specialist fall 30%

By CBR Staff Writer

Austrian chip maker and Apple supplier AMS slid quicker than a skier down an Alpine black run this morning after its fourth quarter guidance fell short of expectations.

Shares fell 30 percent despite strong earnings and after the company inked a deal with Chinese smartphone vendor Xiaomi over the summer.

AMS appleThe Premstätten-headquartered company is a world leader in 3D sensing technology .

So-called 3D sensing technology is being used to enhance  the next generation of phones, allowing sophisticated facial recognition and secure biometrics for payments.

See also: Huawei Topples Apple in Smartphone Battle

It also facilitates gesture sensing, and immersive shopping and gaming experiences, using a combination of technologies including stereoscopic imaging, time-of-flight (ToF) sensing, and “structured light illumination”.

The fall, which was the company’s worst day in trading in a decade, came even as it said its Q3 sales had jumped 57 per cent to $479.6 million year-on-year.

“Attractive” Growth in Optical Technologies

The company said it was bullish on its “consumer optical sensing” division – which includes the 3D sensing product used in Apple’s iPhone X, demand for which the company said was growing.

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AMS added [pdf] that it would “de-emphasise current efforts in environmental sensing and focus strongly on very attractive mid- and long-term growth opportunities in optical technologies.”

CEO Alexander Everke said: “Leveraging our extensive technology base, we are a key innovator in optical technologies and continue to advance high performance optical sensing. We are a leading provider of 3D sensing technology as shown by the large scale 3D sensing ramp we are realizing this second half for a major global smartphone platform.”

He added: “For this program, we are ramping very high volumes of differentiated optical systems encompassing complex optical manufacturing and high performance
wafer level optics. We are strongly positioned to support current and upcoming 3D sensing implementations across different technologies in 2018, 2019 and beyond as 3D sensing momentum continues to increase.”



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