News Briefs

IEEE Photonics Award: Ivan Paul Kaminow is being honored with the 2010 IEEE Photonics Award for seminal contributions to electro-optic modulation, integrated optics and semiconductor lasers, and leadership in optical telecommunications.

IEEE Photonics Award: Ivan Paul Kaminow is being honored with the 2010 IEEE Photonics Award for seminal contributions to electro-optic modulation, integrated optics and semiconductor lasers, and leadership in optical telecommunications. The award will be presented on 23 March 2010 at the IEEE Optical Fiber Communication Conference (OFC) in San Diego, CA. Kaminow has published over 240 papers, received 47 patents, and written or co-edited six books. Kaminow retired from AT&T Bell Laboratories in 1996, where he worked for 42 years. He is currently a professor in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department at UC Berkeley.

PITTCON "Best of Show" award: Tiger Optics LLC (Warrington, PA), manufacturer of laser-based trace-gas analyzers, announced that its Prismatic Multi-Species Gas Analyzer won the first annual "BEST OF SHOW" award at the Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy (PITTCON) in Orlando, FL. More than a decade in development, the new laser-based product can measure trace levels of as many as 16 different molecules using Tiger Optics' field-proven continuous-wave cavity ring-down spectroscopy (CW CRDS) technique. The new Prismatic instrument won top marks for innovation, environmental "green" attributes, and other cost and quality considerations.

Taiwan earthquake affects LCD shipments: DisplaySearch (Austin, TX) analyst Shawn Lee wrote in his March 4 blog that the March 3 earthquake (magnitude 6.4) that struck Kaohsiung in the south of Taiwan has shut down several thin-film-transistor (TFT) liquid-crystal display (LCD) fabs; previous earthquakes caused the shutdown to last about 3 days. He says the earthquake also affected glass substrate production, color filter fabs, and driver IC fabs. Lee adds, "While it is too early to gauge the impact of supply and pricing of TFT LCD panels, we can assume that any downward pressure on panel pricing has been eliminated. In fact, there are some indications that there will be another panel price increase in March due to the earthquake's impact on the supply chain."

Global LCD shipments defy downturn: Market forecasting company iSuppli (El Segundo, CA) says that despite the twin challenges of a global recession and dwindling desktop PC sales, unit shipments of LCD monitors increased by 3.8% in 2009, a far better result than vendors expected in the dark days of January 2009. Global LCD monitor shipments rose to 176.5 million units in 2009, up from 170.1 million in 2008. iSuppli forecasts that LCD monitor shipments will grow to 211.5 million units by 2013, rising at a CAGR of 4.5% from 2008. Consumer demand was actually stronger than corporate demand for monitors through most of the downturn due to layoffs, but that is expected to change beyond 2010.

3 countries make 87% of lasers: In his latest Opto Insider blog at, Strategies Unlimited ( analyst Tom Hausken reveals that 87% of all laser revenues attribute to companies headquartered in only three countries: the U.S., Japan, and Germany. Hausken says you must consider that about half of all laser revenues are for diode lasers for communications and optical storage mostly made by Japanese companies. He then adds that several big laser makers hail from Germany and Japan: TRUMPF, Rofin-Sinar, FANUC, Gigaphoton, and Mitsubishi, and that the U.S. is the official home to many familiar names such as Coherent, Newport, IPG, Cymer, and JDSU.

First U.S. science festival: Agilent Technologies (Santa Clara, CA) is supporting the USA Science & Engineering Festival (, the country's first national science festival to take place in Washington, DC in October 2010. The festival will offer science and engineering organizations the opportunity to present hands-on science activities to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers. Festival organizers already have engaged more than 350 participants from the nation's leading science and engineering organizations. Agilent's financial and hands-on involvement with the program began in the spring of 2009 with the San Diego Science Festival. The success of the San Diego festival led to a National Science Foundation grant to create a sustainable national network of science festivals.

Satellite image sensors launched: On 4 March 2010, e2v (Chelmsford, England) CCD image sensors were launched into space by NASA from Cape Canaveral, FL onboard a Delta IV rocket, carrying the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-P (GOES-P). GOES-P is the third and final spacecraft to be launched in the GOES N series of geostationary environmental weather satellites. Built by The Boeing Company, the N-P series of satellites are designed to improve predictions regarding hurricanes, flash floods and severe storm warnings, and to help track global climate change.

LED lighting funding: Luminus Devices (Billerica, MA), designer and manufacturer of high-light-output PhlatLight LEDs, closed a round of funding totaling $19 million led by current investors Argonaut Private Equity, Braemar Energy Ventures, Paladin Capital Group, and Stata Venture Partners. This investment creates a funded operating plan to increase profitability, maintain minimal debt, support growth, and expand products and applications. This includes "Big Chip" LEDs in specialty lighting applications, projection displays, digital signage, and ultraviolet industrial processes. Keith T.S. Ward, president and CEO, Luminus Devices, said, "This financing has dramatically improved our balance sheet, simplified our equity structure, while better aligning investor objectives with management's market-focused strategy."

People in the news: Vytran (Morganville, NJ), supplier of fiber fusion splicing and glass-based processing solutions, hired Jim Tracey as Sales Engineer for North America. Prior to Vytran, Tracey was the North American business development manager for Newport Corporation's Spectra-Physics Semiconductor Laser Group. He was also International sales manager for Northrop Grumman Cutting Edge Optronics.

Joseph Christenson, director of finance at Nonin Medical (Plymouth, MN), was presented with the 2010 Automated Imaging Achievement Award during a ceremony held at the Automated Imaging Association's (AIA) 18th Annual Business Conference in Orlando, FL. Christenson was nominated by AIA members and was selected from a talented pool of candidates by its Board of Directors. He is being honored for his industry leadership and outstanding contributions to the machine vision and imaging industry for more than two decades, principally at PPT Vision.

Among the 2010 SPIE award recipients recently announced (, Charles H. Townes is the 2010 recipient of the Gold Medal of the Society award in recognition of his extraordinary foresight in recognizing the potential of the laser and coherent light 50 years ago, for his pursuit of the requisite scientific inquiry to turn lasers into one of the most potentially disruptive technologies of the 21st century, and finally for his pioneering scientific contributions to the fields of optics, lasers, astronomy, and molecular spectroscopy. Beginning in 1977, the Gold Medal of the Society is the highest honor that SPIE bestows.

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