In the late 1980s, Sumitomo Metals started an ambitious effort to develop image processing semiconductors for the machine vision market. The products developed were highly sophisticated and unique to the market. Single-chip processors for convolution, image rotation, and edge detection were developed.
The product line gradually evolved towards the display market, with devices specializing in image scaling and frame rate conversion. In the year 2000, the Sumitomo Metals Image Processing LSI Division was sold to a third party and became i-Chips Technology, Inc.
The core group of engineers was retained and additional funding was made available to aggressively pursue the display market. Since then, i-Chips Technology, Inc. has seen a tremendous growth with a sustained pace of new product introductions, and many new design wins every year.