News Briefs

Laser funding: nLIGHT Corporation (Vancouver, WA) received $10.7 million in the first closing of a new equity financing.

Feb 15th, 2009

Laser funding: nLIGHT Corporation (Vancouver, WA) received $10.7 million in the first closing of a new equity financing. nLIGHT will use the new growth capital to continue product development of integrated laser modules and increase sales in its core industrial, defense, and medical markets. Continued investment came from existing venture investors Oak Investment Partners, Mohr Davidow Ventures, and Menlo Ventures. “Despite the world-wide downturn, we finished 2008 with record bookings. We see multiple opportunities for continued strong growth as our industry continues to consolidate and high-power semiconductor lasers continue to expand in new applications,” said Scott Keeney, CEO of nLIGHT.

Young Investigator Award: Ocean Optics (Dunedin, FL), provider of miniature photonics and solutions for optical sensing, announced that Kelly L. Boeneman, PhD, is the winner of the SPIE 2009 Young Investigator Award sponsored by the company. The Award is presented to the researcher who is no more than five years out of school and is author of the best juried paper submitted as part of the “Colloidal Quantum Dots for Biomedical Applications IV” session of the BiOS section of Photonics West. The honor includes a $1,000 investigator reward and $1,000 grant to the investigator’s advisor. Boeneman, a post-doctoral researcher at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington, DC, was honored for her work as lead author of “Peptide linkers for the assembly of semiconductor quantum dot bioconjugates” (paper 7189–14).

Silicon photonics report: The new Silicon Photonics: Challenges and Future report from Research and Markets (Dublin, Ireland) examines the emphasis on silicon photonics today as a potential optical interconnect solution and addresses the issues and technology paths being pursued. Several companies and non-profit organizations within the silicon semiconductor industry have highlighted the technology issues facing copper interconnects for inter-chip, intra-chip, and board-to-board communications. This report reviews aspects of this subject, provides a synopsis of the available industry information, and offers some conclusions.

Mobile displays report: Vinita Jakhanwal, principal analyst, Small and Medium Displays, iSuppli (El Segundo, CA), authored a new Q4 2008 report on the mobile handset display market entitled Sluggish 2009 and 2010 for Mobile Display Industry Amid Deteriorating Economy. This mobile handset display market tracker describes how worsening economic conditions have had a severe impact on the mobile display industry. It is forecast that mobile handset shipments will witness negative shipments in 2009 (to 1.5 billion units, down from 1.6 billion in 2008) and will remain flat in 2010. Following a continued decline in mobile handset display prices for 2009 and 2010, declining shipments will lead to declining revenues in 2009 and 2010. The market is forecast to recover by 2011.

New optics and photonics journal: The Optical Society of America (OSA; Washington, DC) announced the premiere issue of its review journal, Advances in Optics and Photonics (www.opticsinfobase.org/aop). The online, quarterly journal includes invited reviews and tutorials that focus on the most up-to-date advances in the fields of both basic and applied optics and photonics. In addition to reviews and tutorials, future issues will also feature peer-reviewed letters to the editor that will supplement previously published reviews or tutorials. The tutorials will also include interactive animation and video. OSA is currently providing free introductory access to the journal for a limited time, but the tutorials will remain open access indefinitely.

Litigation settled: Seoul Semiconductor (Seoul, Korea) and Nichia Corporation (Japan) have settled all litigations on patent and other issues as well as other legal disputes currently pending between them in the U.S., Germany, Japan, U.K., and Korea. The settlement includes a cross-license agreement covering light-emitting diode (LED) and laser diode technologies, which will permit the companies to access all of each other’s patented technologies. All litigations will be terminated as promptly as possible by mutual withdrawals, with the exception of litigation in Germany that will be resolved following a February 2009 hearing. Seoul Semiconductor was ranked 6th in the world in the global high-brightness LED market based on sales volume in 2007.

India simulation software office: The COMSOL Group (Burlington, MA), developer of COMSOL Multiphysics simulation software (see www.laserfocusworld.com/articles/344256 and www.laserfocusworld.com/articles/341574) opened a full-service office in Bangalore, India. The India office will market and sell COMSOL software and provide technical support services to its customers. “We are seeing great opportunity for growth in the Indian market. Tens of thousands of potential users in India are investigating the COMSOL simulation environment already. With this new office, we will be able to better support our customers in India,” said Svante Littmarck, CEO and co-founder of the COMSOL Group.

125th anniversary: Schott (Mainz, Germany) celebrated 125 years in business with several new products at the SPIE 2009 Photonics West exhibition, including customizable aspherical lens caps for glass-to-metal and ceramic-to-metal sealing, and increased capacity one-piece fiber optic faceplates that double the image to 300 square millimeters. Schott also celebrated its acquisition of DiamondView Armor Products (Schott DAP; Boothwyn, PA). SCHOTT DAP produces transparent and opaque armor systems to protect personnel, structures, and vehicles from blasts and projectiles, primarily in defense applications. Another recent acquisition gave SCHOTT 70.8% of Japan’s Moritex Corporation, a leader in the field of LED-based and fiber-optic lighting systems, as well as optical imaging systems for use in industrial image processing.

Recent acquisitions: PerkinElmer (Waltham, MA), a technology company focused on improving the health and safety of people and the environment, acquired Opto Technology (Wheeling, IL), a supplier of light-emitting diode (LED)-based lighting components and subsystems. The acquisition adds optical subsystems to PerkinElmer’s portfolio of high-brightness LED components--solid-state lighting solutions to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that serve the health, safety, and security markets.

EXFO Electro-Optical Engineering (Quebec City, QC, Canada), a telecom optical test and measurement company with a Life Sciences and Industrial Division that offers solutions in medical device and optoelectronics assembly, fluorescence microscopy, and other life science sectors, acquired PicoSolve, a private all-optical test and measurement company for R&D, manufacturing, and 40G and 100G telecom applications. PicoSolve, founded in 2004 by researchers at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, provides ultra-high-speed optical sampling oscilloscopes to network equipment manufacturers for next-generation optical networks.

Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation announced today that via its newly formed, wholly owned subsidiary, Toshiba Medical Visualization Systems Europe, completed its acquisition of the Advanced Visualization Imaging System Division (AVIS) of Barco (Edinburgh, Scotland), bringing in-house critical core competencies such as the development of 3-D volume rendering and advanced visualization capabilities for all Toshiba modalities.

Optoelectronics Report (ISSN 1522-2837) encourages the submission of news, views, and comments about your company and the industry. Sales reports, market outlooks, strategic moves, and personnel changes are just a few of the kinds of items we would like you to share with our readers. Please fax information to Gail Overton at (603) 891-0574 or send e-mail to

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