News Briefs

Larger headquarters: LED and display system and components manufacturer Fusion Optix opened the doors to its new facility in Woburn, MA.

Larger headquarters: LED and display system and components manufacturer Fusion Optix (www.fusionoptix.com) opened the doors to its new facility in Woburn, MA. “We have experienced a tremendous amount of growth in the past year which resulted in the need for a larger facility, mainly for more production space,” Fusion Optix CEO, Terry Yeo, said. “Being in Woburn puts us closer to some of our key customers and will allow us to grow more in the next few months and years.” The new facility houses Fusion Optix’s film line, as well as lamination, die and laser cutting, thermoforming, and machine shop equipment. In addition to production, the new facility incorporates the Fusion Optix Technology and Engineering Center (FOTEC) and accommodates more product development and testing space.

Pico projector staff added: Seeing explosive demand for its pico projector technology, Syndiant (Dallas, TX) increased its staff 53% after receiving funding from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund (TETF). Pico projectors are ultra miniature projectors, small enough to fit into cell phones, media players and laptops that can generate large and higher resolution images from small devices.

“We were able to add experienced engineering staff thanks to the $3.5 million Technology Commercialization investment by TETF,” said Mark Harward, CEO of Syndiant. “Growing a company in a down market allows for much better capital efficiency as everything needed for growth costs less and the pool of available talent is greater.”

Name change: The IEEE Lasers and Electro-Optics Society (LEOS) has changed its name to the IEEE Photonics Society (www.PhotonicsSociety.org), and is introducing a new journal called the IEEE Photonics Journal (http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/pj-ieee). According to a brochure included with the conference materials from OSA’s OFC/NFOEC conference, “The name change reflects the breadth of our members’ fields of interest and forms part of a continuous improvement program.” The IEEE Photonics Society says it will continue to provide information exchange, education, and professional growth for its members by publishing journals, sponsoring conferences, and supporting local initiatives in the world of photonics.

Merger termination: Electro Scientific Industries (ESI; Portland, OR; www.esi.com) and Zygo Corporation (Middlefield, CT; www.zygo.com) officially terminated the Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated October 15, 2008. As part of the termination, ESI received a break up fee of $5.4 million relating to the Zygo Board of Directors’ withdrawal of its recommendation in favor of the merger; Zygo will be required to pay an additional $1.2 million in the event Zygo announces within the next six months that its Board has approved an alternative transaction proposal for the sale of its business. Zygo supplies optical metrology instruments, precision optics, and electro-optical design and manufacturing services. ESI supplies photonic and laser systems that help its microelectronics customers achieve yield and productivity gains.

Maritime surveillance: Several long-range surveillance ARGC-2400 cameras from Obzerv Technologies (Quebec City, QC, Canada; www.obzerv.com) have been installed in Malaysia to improve the Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency’s (MMEA) capacity for maritime security in the Strait of Malacca and Malaysian territorial waters. Obzerv Technologies specializes in the design and manufacturing of laser range-gated imaging systems for 24/7 surveillance. The cameras have been integrated into existing radar stations to enhance the smooth flow of sea traffic along the 900 km channel. While the radars are dedicated to the detection and location of unusual activities and threats, the ARGC-2400 cameras are used to classify and clearly identify those targets.

Incentive and rewards program: Newport Corporation (Irvine, CA), provider of laser and photonic solutions, is introducing a new promotional campaign known as “The Right Solutions. The Right Price. Right Now”. The program is designed to highlight Newport’s newly broadened offering of photonic products and solutions, new incentive programs, and the company’s commitment to shortened lead times to support customer needs, and offers various levels of incentive, depending on customer specifications, product performance parameters, and pricing needs.

The campaign also includes The Newport Rewards Program that offers Photonics Product Certificates (PPCs) for future redemption; see www.newport.com/RightNow2009.

Sales and licensing agreements: Photon Inc. (San Jose, CA) and TeraComm (Guilford, CT) have expanded their representation agreement to cover the entire East Coast. TeraComm will now represent Photon Inc. laser beam profilers in the Northeast in addition to their territories in the Southeast and Mid Atlantic regions.

Osram GmbH (Munich, Germany) signed a cross-licensing agreement with Everlight (Taiwan) that extends its license for white and colored LEDs with Everlight. In return for Osram’s LED license, Everlight granted to Osram a license to use housing patents of Everlight.

3D operation shutdown: A March 27, 2009 story from Chris Chinnock, senior analyst and editor for Insight Media (Norwalk, CT) said that, “Executives in Philips corporate offices have decided to stop operations at Philips 3D Solutions, an incubator business it has been funding for some time.” The sudden shutdown had apparently caught many employees off guard when it was announced internally. His report goes on to explain that Philips had been marketing its no-glasses based 3D technologies through a pro-active approach for a long time, because it believed that over time, no-glasses based 3D TVs would bring the ultimate 3D experience to the home. Unfortunately, the current market developments no longer justify such a pro-active approach and the 3D Solutions venture will be discontinued, he said.

LEDs improve agriculture: Seoul Semiconductor will supply 300,000 red and blue LEDs for the ‘LED Farming Demonstration Project’ of Ministry of Economy, Trade & Industry of Japan. The artificial light source improves the quality and quantity of plants without agricultural chemicals and the influence of weather, leading to higher income for farm families. In the past, incandescent lamps, fluorescent lamps, and sodium lamps have been mainly used, but according to a report from the Rural Development Association of Korea, LEDs can provide a 70% energy savings compared to incandescent lamps (about $12 million per year), which makes farming possible in desert or Arctic regions, improving food production worldwide.

New photonics school: The University of Sydney (Sydney, Australia) is launching a new institute called IPOS, the Institute for Photonics and Optical Science, that links research and postgraduate teaching programs across the University to create a world-class center with more than 30 academic and research staff and 40 postgraduate students. “IPOS has broken new ground in terms of what we have achieved and the amazing future directions in which we are now headed,” said professor Ben Eggleton, IPOS Director. IPOS draws together research and teaching expertise across the Schools of Physics, Electrical and Information Engineering, Mathematics, Chemistry, and the Electron Microscope Unit. In 2010 IPOS will launch a new Masters in Photonics program.

People in the news: Ultrafast fiber laser manufacturer Fianium (Southampton, England) appointed Colin Seaton as VP of sales and marketing. Colin brings more than 25 years professional experience, 18 of which were spent in various senior management positions at Coherent, where his primary focus was on business development and strategic marketing of ultrafast (non-fiber) lasers.

Optical communications network provider Infinera (Sunnyvale, CA) appointed Satoshi Fujita president of Infinera Japan. Fujita brings extensive experience in the Japanese telecommunications industry, including more than 30 years at NTT, Japan’s incumbent telecom service provider and one of the world’s top five telecom carriers. “Infinera has achieved a leadership position in the North American long-haul optical networking market, and our goal is to reach similar positions in other important markets,” said Infinera CEO Jagdeep Singh.

The 2009 John Tyndall Award, which recognizes an individual that has made pioneering contributions to fiber-optic technology, and is co-sponsored by the OSA, IEEE Photonics Society, and Corning Incorporated, was presented to photodetectors expert Joe C. Campbell, a former AT&T Bell Laboratories researcher who moved to the University of Virginia at Charlottesville in 2006 as the Lucian Carr Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

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