Hitachi collaborates on displays
Hitachi Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan) has signed an agreement with Texas Instruments (TI; Dallas, TX) in which Hitachi will use TI Digital Light Processing (DLP) technology to develop an all-digital, rear-projection high-definition television (HDTV). Integral to the DLP technology is TI's array of digital micromirrors fabricated on silicon and currently commercially available in image projectors. As part of the agreement, TI will tailor its technology to HDTV requirements. The Hitachi television is slated to be introduced to US and Japanese markets in the second half of 2000. In addition, Hitachi and Fujitsu Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan) plan a 50-50 joint venture to speed up the development of plasma flat-panel displays. The new firm, Fujitsu Hitachi Plasma Display Ltd., will start operation in July with u20 billion ($165 million) in capital.
UDT Sensors to absorb semiconductor production
OSI Systems (Hawthorne, CA), owner of UDT Sensors, is integrating production facilities to increase net earnings. The company announced third-quarter revenues of $24.6 million and net income of $0.08 per share before nonrecurring restructuring costs. Silicon Microstructures, a recent acquisition of OSI Systems and a maker of silicon pressure sensors, is shifting its semiconductor production to UDT Sensors' Hawthorne plant. "[The integration] is taking us longer than originally anticipated," says Deepak Chopra, OSI's chairman and chief executive officer, noting that the intent is to complete the integration within a "short period."
University of Stuttgart accepts Sopra system
A single-area excimer-laser crystallization (SAELC) system developed by Sopra (Bois-Colombes, France) has been installed and accepted at the Laboratory for Flat-Panel Display Technology at the University of Stuttgart (Stuttgart, Germany). The system crystallizes a 68 u 28-mm area of amorphous silicon into polycrystalline silicon in one shot. The installation is part of the European Union Semiconductor Equipment Assessment project. Goals of the project include demonstrating increased throughput of silicon-display substrates and uptime of the laser. Potential end users of the SAELC system will be invited to evaluate it using their own substrates and personnel.
Raytheon repairs missiles
Raytheon Co. (Lexington, MA) said it is repairing thousands of its Maverick missiles, according to a report appearing in the Wall Street Journal. Raytheon claims the antitank missiles are defective due to cryoengines that leak helium, damaging the missiles' infrared heat-seeking detectors. The company filed suit last August against Helix Technology Corp. (Mansfield, MA), the maker of the cryoengines, saying that more than 5000 missiles contained the faulty part. Raytheon is absorbing the cost of repairs. No defective Mavericks have been fired in the Yugoslavian conflict.
CDT and HP team to develop light-emerging polymers
Cambridge Display Technology Ltd. (CDT; Cambridge, England) and Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP; Palo Alto, CA) have joined forces to develop light-emitting polymers for consumer applications that include displays. The cross-licensing agreement will leverage HP's expertise in silicon and optoelectronics with CDT's controlling patents for light-emitting-polymer technology. CDT, a spin-off of Cambridge University (Cambridge, England), has licensing agreements with many key players and materials manufacturers in the organic display-development industry, including Philips Electronics BV (Eindhoven, Netherlands), Hoechst AG (Frankfurt, Germany), Seiko Epsom (Tokyo, Japan), and Uniax Corp. (Santa Barbara, CA).
Also in the news...
The board of directors of EG&G Inc. (Salem, MA) elected president and chief executive officer Gregory L. Summe to the additional position of chairman. . . . Rockwell Collins (Cedar Rapids, IA), a business unit of Rockwell (Costa Mesa, CA), will provide advanced flight-deck displays for the Boeing 767-400ER airplane. . . . In the first commercial application of its electronic ink technology, E Ink Corp. (Cambridge, MA) has placed a point-of-purchase sign in a J. C. Penney store in Marlboro, MA, with similar installations to follow in Dallas, TX, and Chicago, IL.