News Briefs

Changing course

TriQuint Semiconductor (Hillsboro, OR) is exiting the pluggable optical module business to focus on indium phosphide (InP) components, chips, and subassemblies as part of a "repositioning" of its optoelectronics business strategy. The change includes shutting down manufacturing operations in Pennsylvania and cutting a total of 200 jobs (90 in Mexico). This restructuring is expected to result in the elimination of approximately $18 million of annual costs associated with this business beginning in 2005. The company posted a net loss of $3.8 million for the first nine months of FY2004 (ended September 30). While the optoelectronics market accounted for 12% of TriQuint's total revenue in its two most recent quarters, the majority of this came from sales of components and sub-assemblies.

Divesting assets

Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC; San Diego, CA) signed a definitive agreement to sell its subsidiary Telcordia Technologies (Piscataway, NJ) to Providence Equity Partners and Warburg Pincus for $1.35 billion in cash. The completion of the sale is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval. Telcordia is the leading provider of enabling software for communications networks. "SAIC recognized that a new owner could provide Telcordia with opportunities to expand its global footprint to benefit its customers and the industry as a whole," said Kenneth Dahlberg, chairman and CEO of SAIC, which purchased the company from the Regional Bell Operating Companies in 1997.

Lighting patent

OptoLum (Phoenix, AZ) has been awarded a patent that significantly extends the company's already broad coverage as granted in its original core patent on thermal management of light emitting diodes (LEDs). U.S. Patent #6,815,724 broadens the claims and protections originally provided by OptoLum's U.S. patent #6,573,536 which covers one or more LEDs attached to an elongate heat sink and various production methods. 536 includes—but is not limited to—LED lighting systems utilizing channels and extrusions of various thermally conductive materials such as aluminum and copper for cooling. The 724 patent includes the addition of sensors and controllers that actively and intelligently manage temperature and current of LED lighting systems.

Licensing pact

Molecular Imprints (MII; Austin, TX), the leading manufacturer of Step and Flash Imprint Lithography (S-FIL) technology, has completed an exclusive licensing agreement with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for the use of the university's moiré fringe alignment technology, in MII's nano imprint lithography tools. MII anticipates using this technology as a primary vehicle for high resolution alignment in advanced lithography applications. MII's CTO, Dr. Sreenivasan, and his team have demonstrated 7nm, 3sigma alignment with this technique, on an MII tool. Professor Hank Smith from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology led the effort to develop this technology and will be part of the ongoing development efforts.

Fiberoptic gyros

KVH Industries (Middletown, RI) announced today that it has received $1.2 million in new orders for its high-performance fiber optic gyro (FOG) systems. The FOGs included within these orders will be used to provide support for a range of defense-related applications, including stabilization and pointing of remote gun turrets and precision navigation and guidance. These orders are largely scheduled for shipment in 2005.

Tech innovation

SEMI (San Jose, CA) has issued a "call for innovations" for the third annual Technology Innovation Showcase to be held in conjunction with SEMICON West 2005 (July 12–14, San Francisco, CA). The application deadline is February 6, 2005. The Showcase is designed to highlight innovative companies, inventors and entrepreneurs, and expose their innovations to a broader audience of semiconductor manufacturers, suppliers and investors. Innovations can include new software, processes, service, equipment or materials used by the semiconductor or related industries including MEMS and nanotechnology. A panel of industry experts will review applications and select innovations based on technical merit, relevance, and significance to the semiconductor industry. For more information, applications and for a complete list of rules and requirements, visit www.semi.org/tis.

Honored

Christoph Harder of Bookham (Zurich, Switzerland) received a prominent award for his ground-breaking work on laser technology at LEOS 2004 in Puerto Rico. The IEEE/LEOS 2004 Aron Kressel award was awarded to Harder, Volker Graf, and Eberhard Latta for pioneering contributions to high-reliability, high-power telecommunications pump lasers. The first 980-nm pumped WDM telecom link (between Chicago and Sacramento) was powered up with these lasers. The annual award is given to individuals who have made important contributions to opto-electronic device technology. The work by Harder, Graf, and Latta forms the basis of many of today's leading products from Bookham, including 980nm pumps, 808nm as well as 9xxnm bars.

LED license

Super Vision International (Orlando, FL), a manufacturer of fiberoptic lighting and LED lighting products, has signed three more licensees to its variable color lighting system patent and its Laidman technology portfolio. The three licensees are Element Labs (Austin, TX), TPR Enterprises (Mamaroneck, NY), and Shine Lighting (West Jordan, UT). Nils Thorjussen, founder and president of Element Labs, stated, "I'd like to thank Brett Kingstone and Super Vision for taking the lead on this critically important matter and making the Belliveau patent and Laidman technology easily available to the industry. Their pledge to use all proceeds to fund ongoing legal costs demonstrates their genuine commitment to the protection of open markets."

Sensor contract

Sabeus Photonics (Chatsworth, CA), a developer of fiber optic sensing technology for military surveillance applications, was awarded a $1.3 million development contract by the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) to develop a new high strength fiber sensor array used for sonar systems on US Navy nuclear submarines.

The NAVSEA contract, which was finalized in September, comes on the heels of two previous US Navy development contracts valued at approximately $400,000 and awarded to Sabeus earlier this year by Penn State Applied Research Laboratory's Electro-Optics Center in Kittanning, PA.

Molded optics

Corning (Corning, NY) and Hitachi-Maxell have entered into a nonexclusive licensing agreement that will allow Hitachi-Maxell to utilize Corning's precision molded optics (PMO) patents in the manufacture of aspheric glass lenses, such as those used in digital still cameras and other electronic products. Details of this agreement are not disclosed. The licensing agreement was facilitated by BTG, the intellectual property and technology commercialization company. BTG represents Corning in its ongoing program to license its PMO portfolio. Several companies, including Fuji, Tamron, and NSG, have already taken licenses to the Corning PMO technology.

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