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Fujitsu Microelectronics Asia Pte Ltd

Fujitsu Microelectronics and Leica Camera 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

Singapore, September 26, 2008 — Fujitsu Microelectronics Asia Pte Ltd (FMAL) today announced that Fujitsu Microelectronics Limited ('FML') and Leica Camera AG ('Leica') have co-developed an image processing system solution for high-end digital single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras, to be featured in Leica's next-generation cameras.

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, Fujitsu Microelectronics 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 Fujitsu's Milbeaut technology, coupled with its control software.

The latest technology in 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 Fujitsu'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 lastest 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.

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Fujitsu Microelectronics Limited:

About Fujitsu Microelectronics Asia Pte Ltd (FMAL)

Fujitsu Microelectronics Asia Pte Ltd was established as the Asia Pacific Headquarters of Fujitsu Limited Electronic Devices Group in 1986. It provides support, sales and marketing of semiconductors and electronic devices to the Asia Pacific region, including India and Oceania. Fujitsu Microelectronics Asia offers a wide and varied product range like ASIC, ASSPs, Microcontrollers / Microprocessors (FR-V), System Memory (Flash Memory / FRAM / FCRAM) and System LSIs (DVD MPEG Source Decoders / MPEG - 2 Encoders).

About Fujitsu Microelectronics Limited

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.

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.
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Press Contacts

Tan Tiew Le (Ms)
Fujitsu Microelectronics Asia Pte Ltd
Role: Corporate Planning & Communications:
Tel: + 65-6381-7434

Ranjeet Kaur (Ms)
Distributed by Porter Novelli for Fujitsu Microelectronics Asia Pte Ltd
Tel: +65 6539 9291
Mobile: +65 9025 7674