Frame-grabber firm Tecon shuts down, sells assets

May 20, 1992

Video frame-grabber firm Tecon of Redmond, WA, closed down inMarch. Its assets were sold to a new company, Precision DigitalImaging. PDI has set up shop in a nearby facility in Redmond.G. Wayne Smith, Tecon president and CEO, is chairman of PDI,

Video frame-grabber firm Tecon of Redmond, WA, closed down inMarch. Its assets were sold to a new company, Precision DigitalImaging. PDI has set up shop in a nearby facility in Redmond.G. Wayne Smith, Tecon president and CEO, is chairman of PDI, accordingto Lew C. Larson, president and CEO of the new firm.

PDI took over all of the grabber-board technology from Tecon.Frame-grabbers are used to convert analog video images to digitalform. The new firm will concentrate more on this business thanTecon did, Larson said.

"I am focusing the business on board-level electronicsfor the advanced imaging business," he said. Medical imaging,with its host of nonstandard video outputs and high-resolutionrequirements, will remain a prime target market, he added.

The firm offers a board that connects with AT-type computersand will soon introduce a NU bus board for Macintosh applications.Siemens is a prime user of Macintosh computers in medical imagingand is a PDI customer, he said.

Frame-grabber boards will be sold directly to OEMs and throughvalue-added resellers. The PDI sales force, which was not transferredfrom Tecon, is being built from scratch. PDI is also close tofinalizing a U.S. and international sales distribution agreementfor the NU bus board, he said.

PDI will continue the Tecon product line and honor all productmaintenance agreements, Larson said.

"Hopefully, customers will find that our focus is to providea reliable product. Service and support is going to be a top itemon the list," he said.

Product reliability may be enhanced by outsourcing board fabricationto Sea Fab, another Redmond high-tech firm. Outsourcing boardfabrication can also reduce the cost of goods and improve flexibilityin market pricing, he said.

PDI's technical staff will focus on developing new imagingapplications and providing customer support, Larson said. TheSeattle area offers a large universe of image processing engineersfrom the University of Washington and imaging vendors such asATL and Siemens-Quantum, he said.

Larson was previously manager of major accounts and strategicalliances with chip maker Seattle Silicon. That firm designedthe latest ultrasound signal processing chip for ATL, he noted.

Tecon had worked with Image Premastering of St. Paul, MN,in manufacturing a workstation and other equipment for Image Premastering'sanalog picture archiving and communication system. The effortdissolved last year with some dispute regarding joint technologyrights (SCAN 11/20/91). Smith will focus on carry-over issuesfor PDI related to this technology, Larson said.

"My focus now is to get the board business back in theswing of things," he said.