News Briefs

Nov. 1, 2007
Telecom CEO honored: Infinera (Sunnyvale, CA) CEO Jagdeep Singh was named “Person of the Year” in Light Reading’s Leading Lights Awards for 2007.

Telecom CEO honored: Infinera (Sunnyvale, CA) CEO Jagdeep Singh was named “Person of the Year” in Light Reading’s Leading Lights Awards for 2007. The award recognized his achievement in leading Infinera to a position as a technology innovator that has achieved commercial success in the highly competitive optical networking market. At a dinner ceremony in New York City, Light Reading’s team of editors and analysts handed out 10 Leading Light Awards to a variety of companies and individuals in the next-generation communications market. In his acceptance speech, Singh said that Infinera’s success was due to the company’s pursuit of a contrarian vision, its world-class team, and a relentless focus on the business problems faced by service providers, rather than simply on the “technology fashions” of the day.

Expanded optics relationship: Edmund Optics (Barrington, NJ) expanded its relationship with Schneider Optics (Bad Kreuznach, Germany) by offering seven lines of Schneider Imaging lenses in Edmunds’ catalog and Web site, including CCD lenses, fixed-focal-length lenses, bi-lateral telecentric lenses, and compact visible to near-infrared lenses. These items complement Edmund’s existing line of imaging optics and components, offering customers a one-stop-shop for building an imaging or machine-vision system. “We have great respect for Schneider’s optical expertise and quality, and look forward to expanding our relationship with them from catalog to custom products,” said Robert Edmund, CEO of Edmund Optics.

Illumination software release: Photon Engineering (Tucson, AZ) released version 6.100 of FRED, a three-dimensional CAD optical engineering software program capable of simulating the propagation of light through virtually any optical/illumination system. This version can trace unlimited number of beams or rays and adds two new scatter models—Tabulated PSD which reads power spectral density measurements, and a K-correlation model. FRED’s new virtual ray buffer now stores rays automatically to disk after reaching a user-definable threshold as needed; the maximum number of rays in FRED is now limited only by available computer disk space. New source creation capabilities and improved propagation features are well suited for the biomedical, solid-state, and high-power laser diode markets.

Selling LCoS operations: Syntax-Brillian Corporation (Tempe, AZ) signed an agreement in principle to sell its operations in Tempe dedicated to the manufacture of liquid-crystal-on-silicon (LCoS) microdisplays and light engines. It is anticipated that the transaction will be completed in November. Under the terms of the agreement, the company will retain all patents and intellectual property associated with LCoS but will license the technology to Compound Photonics Ltd. (a U.K.-based company with an office in Portland, OR) in exchange for an equity interest in Compound Photonics. Compound Photonics will use its equity to acquire the LCoS manufacturing equipment and inventory and will assume the lease on that portion of the Tempe facilities used in the LCoS operations.

Fiber laser sales growth: A new report from optoelectronics market research firm Strategies Unlimited (Mountain View, CA) says that fiber laser sales are on track to pass $240 million this year, a growth of 39% over 2006, with robust growth continuing through 2011 at a rate of 26%, which will more than double the 2007 sales value. The industrial laser market in which fiber lasers play will grow at nearly 10% per year over the same period—good news for the nearly 40 suppliers of fiber lasers. While much of the gain of fiber lasers come at the expense of solid-state laser suppliers, other laser types will see steady growth as well, amounting to about 7% per year through the period. The strongest gains for fiber lasers will be in high-power metals processing and in micro materials processing.

FTTH public offering: Enablence Technologies (Ottawa, ON, Canada), a developer of planar lightwave circuit (PLC)-based transceivers for fiber-to-the-home (FTTH), aerospace, and defense applications, successfully completed its public offering. Enablence issued an aggregate of 42,592,665 common shares (including 5,555,565 common shares issued pursuant to the exercise by the Agents of the over-allotment option in full) at a price of $1.35 per share for total gross proceeds of approximately $57.5 million dollars. “This additional financing will allow Enablence to continue to consolidate its leadership position in the fiber-to-the-home industry and to expand our product lines and global operations,” said Arvind Chhatbar, CEO of Enablence.

Optical switch chosen: The particle physics group at University College London (UCL) chose a Polatis (Cambridge, England and Billerica, MA) all-optical switch for a data acquisition system test-bed. The target application is data collection from a detector at the International Linear Collider, which is currently in development. The group is investigating fast network solutions in order to aggregate data together, reducing hardware requirements, and thus saving money. An all-optical solution is required because the underlying protocol has to be customized for the data acquisition system. The Polatis multimode optical switch was particularly appealing for the UCL solution, as it enables reduction in the cost of the adjacent fibers and PCI cards with the PCs.

Army contract for diodes: Alfalight (Madison, WI), manufacturer of high-power diode lasers, received a $1.2 million contract from the Army Research Laboratory (ARL; Adelphi, MD) for a 12-month program entitled “High Brightness Diode Sources” (HiBriDS) that will enable Alfalight to leverage the results of two previous programs in order to create laser diode modules with higher brightness and reliability than current technology diode lasers can provide. This program will generate a pump-laser solution that will enable improved fiber lasers for power scaling into kilowatt-class arrays for pumping fiber lasers and solid-state gain media, and as direct-diode sources for applications such as marking, cutting, welding, and materials processing.

New test & measurement president: JDSU (Milpitas, CA) announced that Thomas Waechter has been appointed as president of its Communications Test & Measurement business. In his new role, Waechter will be responsible for global sales, product development, and operations, and will report directly to Kevin Kennedy, JDSU’s president and CEO. Helmut Berg, current JDSU Communications Test & Measurement president, will report to Waechter with a focus on strategy and corporate development. Kennedy said, “Tom’s former leadership of public companies as both chief operating officer and chief executive officer will provide JDSU’s communications test and measurement continued market leadership under his direction. I would also like to thank Helmut Berg for his enormous contribution and look forward to working with him in his new role.”

New Boeing appointments: The Boeing Company named Scott Fancher VP and general manager, Missile Defense Systems, effective Oct. 16. Fancher replaces Patrick Shanahan, who has assumed responsibility for the 787 Dreamliner program in Boeing Commercial Airplanes. In his new position, Fancher reports directly to Roger Krone, president, Network and Space Systems, and oversees 3900 people in nine major operating locations, providing integrated missile defense solutions for all phases of ballistic missile threats. Greg Hyslop has been named Boeing VP and program director for Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD), reporting to Fancher. The GMD system defends against long-range ballistic missiles. Hyslop was previously VP and program director for the Airborne Laser (ABL).

Industry awards/nominations: POWERLASE (Crawley, England), manufacturer of diode-pumped solid-state lasers, was listed in The Sunday Times Microsoft Tech Track 100 rankings as the 21st fastest growing private technology company in the U.K.

LED-maker OSRAM (Regens-
berg, Germany), together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering, was one of four teams nominated for the prestigious German Future Prize.

Optical-fiber manufacturer Sterlite Optical Technologies (Pune, India) was nominated again to the Top 100 Tech Companies list published annually by EFY Magazine, India.

Laser Design (Minneapolis, MN), supplier of 3-D laser scanners, was named one of America’s fastest-growing private companies by Inc. Magazine.

Nemoptic (Magny les Hameaux, France) garnered two awards in recognition of its bistable nematic liquid-crystal display technology: Frost & Sullivan’s 2007 European Technology of the Year Award, and the Paris Opto 2007 Show gave Nemoptic’s A4 e-paper display the Silver Award for Innovation.

VELOX Semiconductor (Somerset, NJ), received an Advanced Technology Program award from NIST to develop electronic switches based on VELOX’s gallium nitride-on-silicon technology.

Laser-marking company DataLase (Cheshire, England) scooped three top industry awards from Manufacturing & Industry Today, the R&D 100 Awards, and a U.K. Packaging Award.

Fiber and fiber-laser maker Nufern (East Granby, CT) was named Connecticut’s 4th fastest-growing technology company in Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 awards program.

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