News Briefs

OLED acquisition: Cambridge Display Technology (Cambridge, England) has acquired the assets of Next Sierra (Mountain View, CA), a hardware developer that specializes in designing polymer organic light-emitting diode (P-OLED) and OLED display driver chips, especially with Total Matrix Addressing (TMA) design expertise.

OLED acquisition: Cambridge Display Technology (Cambridge, England) has acquired the assets of Next Sierra (Mountain View, CA), a hardware developer that specializes in designing polymer organic light-emitting diode (P-OLED) and OLED display driver chips, especially with Total Matrix Addressing (TMA) design expertise. TMA technology can potentially be incorporated into driver chips to bring active matrix capabilities to passive matrix displays. Next Sierra CEO Rich Page said, “Becoming part of CDT is a natural evolution for Next Sierra. In TMA, CDT has an exciting technology with great OLED market potential. The Next Sierra team has the right mix of dedication and expertise to execute the design and commercialization of TMA driver chips in the minimum time possible.”

Telecom acquisition: JDSU (Milpitas, CA) announced an agreement to purchase Casabyte (Renton, WA), a provider of automated end-to-end service quality monitoring technology for the wireless industry. Casabyte will be integrated with JDSU’s Communications Test and Measurement division to address the need for quality of service (QoS) test solutions that enable network operators to identify, troubleshoot and prevent network degradation that can impair voice, data, video, and mobile service quality as network operators deliver bandwidth-intensive multimedia content over converged fixed-mobile networks. According to OSS Observer, a telecom software industry research firm, the mobile probe test system market addressed by Casabyte will grow 12 to 14% annually over the next five years.

Photonics West to set records: SPIE (Bellingham, WA) Photonics West returns to San Jose January 20-25, 2007 where more than 15,000 experts from across the world discuss new research and technology breakthroughs in the field of photonics. Technical programs and events are organized around four symposia (BiOS, LASE, MOEMS-MEMS, and OPTO) combined with two exhibitions. The Biomedical Optics Exhibition has 140 participating companies, while the larger Photonics West Exhibition brings the total to over 1000 exhibiting companies. “More companies, more researchers and more engineers are coming to Photonics West this year than ever before,” said Janice Walker, director of events at SPIE. She added that the sold-out exhibit and a large increase in advance hotel bookings indicate tremendous industry momentum.

Laser welding supply change: ficonTEC GmbH (Bremen, Germany) has acquired the automated fiber alignment and laser welding product lines of Newport Corporation (Irvine, CA). The transfer of the products is currently underway and ficonTEC is taking over all after-sales and service activities for about 400 installed systems. Founded in 2001, ficonTEC provides semi- and fully automated test, inspection, assembly and pick & place systems for the photonics and semiconductor industry. The acquired products will complement ficonTEC’s offering and complete their product line for the fiber optic packaging process chain from start to end. Over time, the systems will be adapted and made compatible with the look and feel of the ficonTEC systems and software.

Banner year for laser weapons: 2006 was one of the most successful on record for Northrop Grumman’s (Redondo Beach, CA) high-energy laser systems. The company says they generated the most intense laser beams, the highest power levels, and the longest operating times yet seen in industry. “By any standard, 2006 was one of the most successful years in the company’s history of more than three decades of ‘high-energy laser firsts’,” said Alexis Livanos, president of Northrop Grumman’s Space Technology sector. “We are blazing new paths and identifying more uses at a record pace for this mature technology.” Mike McVey, VP of Directed Energy Systems, noted that in addition to making laser weapons more flexible, rapid advancements also are making them more affordable.

Tunable laser agreement: Syntune AB (Stockholm, Sweden), a developer of single-chip tunable lasers and transmitters, and CyOptics (Lehigh Valley, PA), developer of indium phosphide (InP) optical chip and component technologies, announced a co-operative agreement for the introduction of a family of full-band tunable laser products for the telecommunications market. This agreement will accelerate the market introduction of the laser products and also provide a continuous volume supply of tunable devices. The CyOptics manufacturing platform has provided over 4 million lasers with over 120 billion service hours in telecommunications equipment deployed worldwide since 2000. The agreement will also enhance the Syntune product distribution through the use of CyOptics’ worldwide sales channel.

Sensor distributor: OPTEK Technology (Carrollton, TX) has added Hughes-Peters (Huber Heights, Ohio) to its team of distributors in North America. Serving the midwest U.S. market, Hughes-Peters has been one of the fastest growing distributors in the region since 2001. Hughes-Peters will carry OPTEK’s full suite of products, including fiber optic devices, optoelectronic components, magnetic sensors, and LED components and assemblies. Hughes-Peters’ comprehensive range of services includes inventory management, technical support, and value-added services such as BOM kitting, lead forming, cable assemblies and wire marking, and panel assembly. OPTEK Technology was acquired by TT electronics in December 2003.

Web site explains HDTV LEDs: Luminus Devices (Woburn, MA), the company that introduced PhlatLight (photonic lattice) high-power LEDs, launched a new Web site (www.phlatlight.com) to provide information to retailers and consumers about the advantages of current LED illumination technologies being used in the newest generation of high-definition rear-projection televisions (HDTVs). The web site will help consumers make more informed choices as they face an increasing array of high-definition products. “There is a lot of confusion in the market right now about the various technologies used in HDTVs,” said John Langevin, VP of sales and marketing at Luminus Devices. “We designed this site to help retailers and consumers understand the benefits of LED illumination and the unique features of PhlatLight LED technology.”

Medical laser acquisition: Advanced Medical Optics (AMO; Santa Ana, CA), a global ophthalmic surgical and eye care products company that bought eye-laser pioneer VISX in 2005, is further expanding its market presence in laser vision correction by paying $808 million in cash to purchase IntraLase Corporation (Irvine, CA), the leading provider of ultrafast laser systems for laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK). IntraLase president and CEO Robert Palmisano said the merger gives the company the ability to advance its femtosecond laser technology in a coordinated way, both developmentally and commercially, with the world’s leading excimer laser technology. “Also, this combination provides the opportunity for further innovation and beneficial refinement of LASIK procedures that can and should grow the overall LASIK market.”

Laser surgery first: Spectranetics Corporation (Colorado Springs, CO) announced that its excimer laser system was used during a neurovascular surgical procedure for the first time in the U.S. recently at Roosevelt Hospital in New York City. The surgical procedure was described in a New York Times article published December 19, 2006 (www.nytimes.com/2006/12/19/health/19brai.html?8dpc). The procedure incorporates a laser-assisted neurovascular surgery technique developed by Spectranetics’ strategic partner, Elana BV of the Netherlands. According to the article, the procedure-which used the excimer laser to treat a giant aneurysm-is not approved in the U.S., but permission was granted by the Food and Drug Administration on a compassionate use basis to Roosevelt Hospital.

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