Imaging & Detector Industry Report

April 1, 2000
ColorLink and Arisawa form joint venture; Rockwell makes largest IR image sensor; ST joins LCD design center; and more.

ColorLink and Arisawa form joint venture

ColorLink (Boulder, CO) and Arisawa Mfg. Co. (Joetsu-City, Japan) have created a joint-venture company to bring ColorLink's color-manipulation technology to high-volume production. The technology, which is based on combinations of polymer retarders, can be used to improve the output of color projection liquid-crystal displays (LCDs). The new company, to be called ColorLink Japan, will operate from Arisawa's facilities. Arisawa manufactures polymers that include polarizing films for LCDs. ColorLink in Boulder will concentrate on providing fast-turnaround prototype units, as well as on research and development. ColorLink Japan will begin production by May of this year, with its first products being stacked-retarder-based color splitters, combiners, and switchable filters.

Rockwell makes largest IR image sensor

The Rockwell Science Center (Thousand Oaks, CA) has developed the world's largest infrared (IR) image sensor. Based on mercury cadmium telluride, the device contains 2048 x 2048 pixels, with 99.98% of the pixels operational. Based on complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology, the sensor contains 13 million transistors and, at 4 x 4 cm in size, is the largest CMOS chip yet made. With a spectral sensitivity of 0.9-2.5 µm, the device is intended to help detect heat from faint galaxies created early in the universe. Its development was part of a two-year program funded by a consortium of astronomical observatories led by the University of Hawaii (Honolulu, HI).

ST joins LCD design center

STMicroelectronics (ST; Tempe, AZ) has signed a technical and commercial agreement with Tecdis Europe (Chatillon, Italy) in which ST will join a design center founded by Tecdis and Three-Five Systems (Tempe, AZ) and located near the Tecdis headquarters. Tecdis and Three-Five manufacture LCD modules, while ST makes integrated circuits (ICs). As a member of the design center, ST will develop ICs to drive LCDs intended mostly for mobile phones but also for pagers, printers, and other devices.

Ion Optics wins SBIR award for infrared imager

Ion Optics (Waltham, MA) has received a Phase II SBIR award from the US Air Force to develop a hyperspectral long-wavelength infrared imager. The device will contain an electronically tunable liquid-crystal-filled Fabry-Perot etalon filter developed by Scientific Solutions (Chelmsford, MA), as well as a 320 x 240-pixel infrared camera built by Ion Optics. The filter will tune across a 1.5-µm range at a 0.15-µm bandwidth and with a 50-100-Hz speed. The instrument will be used for wide-area sensing of toxic gases and will have a resolution of 3 m at a distance of 1 km.

Inrad allies with APE

An alliance has been formed between Inrad (Northvale, NJ) and Angewandte Physik & Electronik GmbH (APE; Berlin, Germany) in which Inrad will market autocorrelators made by APE. The devices measure pulses from ultrafast lasers having pulse durations in the picosecond and femtosecond ranges. Inrad will supply the autocorrelators to the Americas and Israel, while APE will continue to supply them to customers in Europe and Japan.

Also in the news . . .

Roper Industries (Bogart, GA) has completed restructuring its recently acquired MASD unit, reducing staff levels of the unit by 36 to just more than 100 employees. . . . Burle Industries (Lancaster, PA) has formed Burle GmbH (Baesweiler, Germany) to market and support its photomultipliers and other products throughout Europe and surrounding countries. . . . Philips Flat Display Systems (San Jose, CA) has entered into a codevelopment agreement with Hana MicroDisplay Technologies (Twinsburg, OH) to manufacture liquid-crystal-on-silicon projection-display panels. . . . ISI Group (Albuquerque, NM), a maker of infrared thermal-imaging cameras, was bought by Mine Safety Appliances Company (Pittsburgh, PA).

John Wallace

For more business news, subscribe to Optoelectronics Report. Contact Jayne Sears-Renfer at [email protected].

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