IMAGING & DETECTOR INDUSTRY REPORT

Semiconductor-based components and subsystems provider Emcore (Somerset, NJ) has agreed to invest $18 million in WorldWater & Power (Pennington, NJ), a developer and marketer of photovoltaic systems for terrestrial power generation, including proprietary electrical motor drive technology for water pumping.

Emcore invests in photovoltaics

Semiconductor-based components and subsystems provider Emcore (Somerset, NJ) has agreed to invest $18 million in WorldWater & Power (Pennington, NJ), a developer and marketer of photovoltaic systems for terrestrial power generation, including proprietary electrical motor drive technology for water pumping. In return, Emcore will retain 31% equity ownership in WorldWater.

The two companies have also formed a strategic alliance and supply agreement under which Emcore becomes the exclusive supplier of high-efficiency multijunction solar cells, assemblies, and concentrator subsystems to WorldWater-a contract valued at up to $100 million over the next three years.

New IR-detector factory approved

Sofradir (Veurey-Voroize, France), a developer and manufacturer of advanced infrared (IR) detectors, received building permission to construct a new factory near Grenoble, France, allowing the company to practically double its production surface and mass-produce third-generation IR detectors. The new factory introduces a molecular-beam-epitaxy (MBE) manufacturing process, which upgrades Sofradir from 2-inch to 4-inch mercury cadmium telluride wafers.

Sofradir products are used in thermal imagers, missile seekers, and other surveillance, targeting, and homing IR equipment.

Alps Electric secures pocket-projector license

Electronic components manufacturer Alps Electric Co. (Tokyo, Japan) was granted an exclusive license to the University of Cambridge’s (Cambridge, England) core patent for a holographic video projector technology, developed in the the school’s department of engineering. Alps Electric says it intends to manufacture miniature projectors based on the technology that will be highly energy efficient, always in focus, and extremely robust-making them ideal for building into laptops, mobile phones, and other portable devices.

Cambridge Enterprise-which helps University of Cambridge inventors, innovators, and entrepreneurs make their ideas and concepts more commercially successful-agreed on the license arrangement with Alps Electric. The collaborative team built a prototype that was demonstrated in Tokyo earlier this year. “The miniature projectors we will manufacture will make conventional light valve data projectors obsolete,” said Motohiro Shimaoka, board director and head of Business Development Headquarters for Alps Electric.

Northrop Grumman acquires Essex

In a transaction valued at approximately $580 million, Northrop Grumman has signed a definitive agreement to acquire for cash all of the outstanding shares of Essex (Columbia, MD), a company that provides signal-processing services and products and advanced optoelectronic imaging for U.S. government intelligence and defense customers. Northrop Grumman expects the transaction to close in the first quarter of 2007 and expects the transaction to be neutral to 2007 earnings and accretive beginning in 2008.

Imaging-sensor contracts go to Dalsa

Dalsa (Waterloo, ON, Canada) received contracts totaling $5 million to deliver image sensor chips to two customers in the x-ray imaging and photogrammetry fields over the next two years. For the first contract, the image-sensor chips will be “the eyes” of the customer’s digital x-ray system, which is currently gaining market acceptance as an increasing number of hospitals and clinics worldwide make the investment in digital tools. The second customer will use Dalsa’s high-resolution chips in a large-format photogrammetry camera system, which is designed to capture highly detailed imagery.

Also in the news . . .

The U.S. Army has awarded Northrop Grumman (Apopka, FL) a $15 million dollar contract for the company’s battle-proven Lightweight Laser Designator Rangefinder (LLDR) with reduced weight and improved night-vision capability. . . . The District Court of Düsseldorf, Germany ruled in favor of OC Oerlikon Balzers (Oerlikon, Germany) that its German patent DE 197 089 49 C2 was infringed by Prodisc’s (Taiwan) projection-display color wheels. . . . NanoOpto (Somerset, NJ) and Moxtek (Orem, UT) are jointly developing a suite of nanotechnology-based products that will initially support applications addressing the projection display and consumer imaging markets. . . . Goodrich (Princeton, NJ) was awarded a contract from the U.S. Air Force Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Battlelab (Nellis Air Force Base, NV) to develop and fabricate a shortwave-infrared (SWIR) sensor for the Spectre-Finder initiative to demonstrate the potential of a recoverable unmanned aircraft system. . . . Digital-imaging company Andor Technology (Belfast, Northern Ireland) was listed (for the seventh consecutive time) on the Deloitte 2006 Fast 50 Ranking for Irish companies.

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