Semiconductor components manufacturer Micron Technology Inc. of Boise, Idaho, announced it has formed an independent division, Aptina Imaging (www.aptina.com), for its CMOS sensor business. Operating independently provides Aptina with more manufacturing flexibility, the company said, and offers cost and operational control benefits. Also, Aptina will continue to take advantage of the research and development investments Micron has made in manufacturing CMOS image sensors for mobile phones, digital still cameras, and security and surveillance cameras. "We will also bring new system-level innovations in imaging to our customers, allowing them to include high-performance cameras in their devices without the need to invest heavily in camera system R&D," said Bob Gove, Aptina president. In a separate statement, San Jose, Calif.-based Aptina announced an improved pixel technology that incorporates a new 9-MP image sensor and also introduced a 1.4-µm pixel and a prototype 1.2-µm pixel. Aptina said its new approach to designing cameras for mobile handsets incorporates the image sensor, optics and processing in one package.