IMAGING & DETECTOR INDUSTRY REPORT

Oct. 1, 2006
In a move that it says will enable customers to increase conversion efficiency and yields to help lower the overall cost per watt for solar electricity, Applied Materials (Santa Clara, CA)-a provider of equipment and services for manufacturing semiconductors and flat-panel displays-launched its strategy to enter the rapidly growing solar photovoltaic (PV) equipment market.

Applied Materials launches solar strategy

In a move that it says will enable customers to increase conversion efficiency and yields to help lower the overall cost per watt for solar electricity, Applied Materials (Santa Clara, CA)-a provider of equipment and services for manufacturing semiconductors and flat-panel displays-launched its strategy to enter the rapidly growing solar photovoltaic (PV) equipment market.

“The solar industry has reached the inflection point that Applied Materials has been waiting for, as solar customers seek economies of scale with suppliers who can better meet their needs for global support and who can provide advanced systems that meet technology, throughput, quality and yield goals,” said Mike Splinter, president and CEO. “We plan to change the cost equation for solar power through adaptation of our existing technology and new innovation in order to help make solar a more meaningful contributor to the global energy supply.”

Zecotek collaboration targets OCT

To jointly develop advanced light sources and optical systems for its future optical coherence tomography (OCT) medical imaging products, Zecotek Medical Systems (Frankfurt, Germany) entered into an agreement with the University of British Columbia (UBC; Vancouver, BC, Canada) to tap into the knowledge base of UBC’s world-class semiconductor light-source group.

The collaboration team anticipates significant innovation and radical performance improvements in OCT systems, including higher resolution, better depth of penetration, and improved scan rate. According to Zecotek, the market for OCT is expected to reach $250 million by 2010.

Spire subsidiary inks RPTV agreement

Bandwidth Semiconductor (Hudson, NH), a wholly owned subsidiary of Spire (Bedford, MA), entered into a five-year manufacturing agreement in which it will be the exclusive supplier of semiconductor wafers to Principia Lightworks (Woodland Hills, CA). The wafers will enable Principia to begin high-volume production of its patented device, an electron-beam-pumped vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (eVCSEL) as a light source for projection display applications, including rear-projection consumer television (RPTV).

Bandwidth will begin the scale-up of its existing metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) to satisfy Principia’s requirements. “We chose Bandwidth because of its broad range of MOCVD and compound semiconductor device experience,” said Don Klein, executive vice president of business development for Principia. “Once in production, Principia will offer the projection-display market the first truly high-powered, low-cost red, green, and blue laser light source.”

Flextronics licenses sensor assembly technology

Tessera Technologies (San Jose, CA), through its wholly owned subsidiaries Tessera, Tessera Israel, and Digital Optics, signed a wafer-level assembly technology licensing agreement with Flextronics International (Singapore), an manufacturing services provider and manufacturer of camera modules. Under the terms of the agreement, Flextronics has access to Tessera’s Shellcase CF wafer-level technology that utilizes the manufacturing infrastructure of conventional Chip-on-Board assembly processes, while resolving the challenges associated with increasing resolution and decreasing pixel size in image sensors.

“Given Flextronics’ position as the world’s leading manufacturer of camera modules and its exceptional expertise in the areas of camera module design and manufacturing, we are excited they have selected Tessera’s new wafer-level assembly technology,” said Bruce McWilliams, Tessera’s chairman and CEO. “We are confident our innovative Shellcase CF technology will help Flextronics maintain its market leadership while providing the cost, yield and miniaturization advantages needed to achieve substantial manufacturing efficiency.”

For more business news visit www.optoelectronicsreport.com.

Also in the news . . .

The U.S. Display Consortium (USDC; San Jose, CA) and Insight Media (Norwalk, CT) are collaborating to identify business opportunities and technical gaps in the three-dimensional (3-D) display industry and will produce a 3-D market and technology report that will serve as the foundation for an industry workshop in November 2007 in South San Francisco, CA. . . . OSI Systems announced that its Optoelectronics and Manufacturing division, OSI Optoelectronics (Hawthorne, CA) received an approximate $10.5 million OEM contract from an international Fortune 500 medical equipment company to provide proprietary semiconductor photodiode detector subassemblies. . . . ISRA Vision (Darmstadt, Germany), an international supplier of industrial image-processing technology, reported large profit increases in FY2005/2006. . . . Applied Image (Rochester, NY) is partnering with Imatest (Boulder, CO) by packaging the Imatest PRO and LIGHT software-which measures the sharpness and image quality of digital camera images and digitized film images-with Applied Image’s imaging test targets.

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