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Leica Camera AG
Fujitsu Microelectronics Ltd.


Leica Camera and Fujitsu Microelectronics Co-develop Image Processing System Solution for High-end Digital SLR Cameras

-New image processing system to feature outstanding image quality, fast processing times, and low power consumption-

Tokyo and Cologne, Germany, September 24, 2008 - Leica Camera AG ("Leica") and Fujitsu Microelectronics Limited ("FML") announced today the co-development of an image processing system solution for high-end digital single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras, to be featured in Leica's next-generation cameras.

A digital SLR camera prototype, the LEICA S2, featuring the new image processing system will be exhibited by Leica (Stand 02.1 Hall A001) at the Photokina exhibition, to be held in Cologne, Germany from September 23 to 28.

Figure 1: Graphic image of the image processing system co-developed by Leica Camera and Fujitsu Microelectronics

Figure 1: Graphic image of the image processing system co-developed by Leica Camera and Fujitsu Microelectronics

Larger View

Background

The number of image pixels handled by digital still cameras, such as digital SLR cameras and those on mobile phones is continually rising, with higher definition becoming a key selling feature. As a result, there has been a rise in demand for low power consumption and faster image processing systems. Satisfying these conflicting conditions is a challenge for design engineers.

Since 2001, FML has offered its Milbeaut series of image processing devices for cameras, delivering high-definition imagery, fast processing speeds, and low power consumption. Widely used in digital SLR, compact digital still, and mobile phone cameras, the Milbeaut series is meeting market requests in advance. Milbeaut technology offers various functions on a single chip as required by these cameras, including image compression/decompression (image codec), noise reduction and memory card processing.

For nearly a century Leica Camera has worked to position itself as a globally-renowned and reputable camera manufacturer, recognized for its outstanding expertise in camera imagery-related technologies, which are testament to its refined high-quality product offerings. The company is actively engaged in the development of digital camera technologies, demonstrated by the release in 2006 of its first digital still camera, the LEICA M8, featuring the popular Leica M series body.

Newly Developed Solution

Given the aforementioned market requirements, the new image processing system solution for high-end SLR cameras uses Leica's MAESTRO image processor based on FML's Milbeaut technology, coupled with its control software.

The latest technology in FML's Milbeaut series features improved power management, thereby achieving extremely low power consumption. High-speed operation is achieved by the employment of two embedded CPUs: Fujitsu's FR-80 and FR-V (VLIW architecture) and additional accelerators.The combined faster operation of both software and hardware enables superior image processing performance.

For this joint development, Leica and FML created a team of dedicated hardware and software engineers to leverage the companies' expertise and know-how. By combining the strengths of FML's image-processing Milbeaut technologies with Leica's high-definition imaging technologies, the companies now offer an industry-leading image processing solution.

Stefan Trippe, COO of Leica Camera commented, "Leica's philosophy is to deliver the very latest technology to its customers - as a result, this joint development with Fujitsu Microelectronics, will enable Leica to continue to lead the field in terms of picture quality."

"Fujitsu Microelectronics welcomes this opportunity for co-development with Leica. Leica's expertise and reputation in the camera industry, combined with our Milbeaut imaging-processing LSI technology, will result in a truly outstanding high-end SLR digital camera", said Joji Murakami, Corporate Vice President at Fujitsu Microelectronics Limited.

Future Developments

The new solution platform resulting from this collaboration has been established for, and will hereon become a basis for the planning and development of new Leica products, as well as enabling easy implementation of FML's next-generation devices.Furthermore, the newly created platform will enable the stable development of future image processing systems.



About Leica Camera AG
Leica Camera AG is an international company operating in the optical industry with headquarters in Solms, Germany. All the products from the three areas of photography, sport optics and field observation have one task in common: to create a better image. The product range covers a broad selection of cameras for photography, projectors for presenting images, binoculars, scopes and distance measurement equipment for observation. All Leica cameras and lenses, all projectors, binoculars, scopes and laser distance measurement devices are the result of years of experience, uncompromisingly high standards of quality as well as continuous further development - created in the high-tech laboratory and Leica's manufacturing facility. Top quality materials, combined with reliable precision mechanics and meticulous manufacture guarantee to create brilliant images.
For more information, please see: http://en.leica-camera.com/home/

About Fujitsu Microelectronics (FML)
Fujitsu Microelectronics Limited (FML) is a large-scale integrated circuit (LSI) manufacturer that provides highly reliable, optimal solutions to meet the varying needs of its customers, through LSI offerings including ASIC/COT, ASSP and power management ICs, and flash microcontrollers. Along with building on its wide-range expertise focusing on imaging, wireless, and security LSI applications, FML also pursues initiatives for power efficiency and undertakes environmentally-conscious countermeasures. Headquartered in Tokyo, FML was established as a subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited on March 21, 2008. Through its global sales and development network with sites in Japan and other regions in Asia, Europe, and the U.S., FML offers LSI solutions to the global marketplace. For more information: http://jp.fujitsu.com/group/fml/en/



Leica Camera Press Contacts:

Sandra Looke
Leica Camera AG
Tel: +49(0)6442-208-404
Fax: +49(0)6442-208-455
sandra.looke@leica-camera.com

Leica Camera Customer Contacts:


Leica Camera AG
Tel: +49(0)6442 208 0
Fax: +49(0)6442 208 333
info@leica-camera.com

Ralph Hagenauer
Leica Camera AG
Tel: +49(0)6442-208-152
Fax: +49(0)6442-208-455
ralph.hagenauer@leica-camera.com



Fujitsu Microelectronics Press Contacts:

Public and Investor Relations
Fujitsu Limited


Inquiries

Fujitsu Microelectronics Customer Contacts:

Milbeaut Marketing Dept.
Imaging System Solution Division
Fujitsu Microelectronics Limited
 Tel: +81(3)5322-3382
Inquiries



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