The beginning of PCO's story of success dates back to the 1980s and a research project of the founder, Dr. Emil Ott, who was working at the Technical University Munich for the Chair of Technical Electrophysics. While performing measurements with intensified slow scan cameras, Dr. Ott realized that the existing standard did not meet the sophisticated requirements of scientific applications - and so PCO came to life in 1987. With a small team of engineers Dr. Ott began to develop his first image intensified camera followed by several variations on the original model, geared to overcoming all the existing flaws and surpassing standards of the day. During these early years PCO developed a now well established core of advance technologies used as the foundation to develop cutting edge products. One result of the technology developed by Dr. Ott and his team of engineers was the market introduction of the world's first camera for particle image velocimetry (PIV): the SensiCam - and there was a lot more to come.

In the early 1990s PCO expanded its business activities to the global market by successfully establishing an international network of highly trained sales partners and customers. We entered additional fields beyond traditional scientific research expanding the potential for our cameras' applications in life science, automotive testing and even broadcasting. This step paved the way for a wide range of innovative highlights:

-DiCam: the first image intensifier video camera with 5ns exposure time - 1989

  • VarioCam: the first cooled long-term-exposure video camera with interline sensor - 1993
  • SensiCam: the first digital interline camera with 12-bit ADC - 1996
  • pixelfly: the first 12-bit machine vision camera - 2000
  • pco.dimax: the first 12-bit high-speed camera with broadcast image quality - 2009
  • sCMOS sensor: co-developer of a revolutionary new CMOS image sensor generation
  • pco.edge: the first sCMOS camera - 2010
  • CameraLink HS interface: founding member of the international CLHS standard committee
  • pco.flim: the first modulatable 40MHz camera based on a CMOS sensor - 2016

As of 2017, PCO has three decades of technical know-how and expert knowledge in the development and manufacturing of high-performing camera systems. In-house competence of all significant technical disciplines and partnering with leading image sensors manufactures ensures cutting edge sCMOS, CMOS and CCD technology for all PCO cameras.



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