News Briefs

Fiber license: Arbor Photonics (Ann Arbor, MI) signed an exclusive license agreement for chirally coupled core optical fiber with the University of Michigan.

Fiber license: Arbor Photonics (Ann Arbor, MI) signed an exclusive license agreement for chirally coupled core optical fiber with the University of Michigan. The agreement grants Arbor Photonics rights to commercialize the fiber and devices enabled by the design for lasers, optical amplifiers, and laser-beam delivery. The chirally coupled core concept, dubbed CCC or 3C fiber, utilizes an internal structure to produce single-spatial-mode output from very large mode area fibers, and was invented by Almantas Galvanauskas at the University of Michigan Center for Ultrafast Optical Science. The technology will be used by Arbor Photonics to produce high-power, short-pulsed, single-mode fiber lasers for microelectronics, solar-cell manufacturing, and defense.

Light up the World Foundation moves: The Light up the World Foundation (LUTW; www.lutw.org), an international humanitarian organization dedicated to illuminating the lives of the world’s poor, has moved to a new location in Calgary, AB, Canada. The LUTW is trying to bring ultra-efficient, durable, and near-permanent white light-emitting diode (WLED) lighting solutions powered by renewable energy to the poor in ecologically sensitive and remote rural areas. It is the first organization to utilize solid-state lighting technologies to bring affordable, safe, healthy, efficient, and environmentally responsible lighting to people currently without access to proper lighting. LUTW strives to be the leader in the advancement and diffusion of this technology for development purposes and remains globally active in setting standards in this field.

iParenting media award: The Optical Society of America’s (OSA; Washington, DC) optics youth education Web site, OpticsForKids.org, won an iParenting Media Award for Outstanding Products of 2008. iParenting.com is an online community for parents and parents-to-be and is part of Disney’s network of family-focused Web sites. The award recognizes exceptional products for parents and their families in 20 categories. Earlier this year, OSA re-designed the OpticsForKids.org site and added features such as an optics history timeline, a gallery of optical images, experiments students can conduct on their desktops and at home, tutorials, a career quiz, and much more. The Web site seeks to provide comprehensive optics resources for pre-college students, parents, and educators.

Business Achievement Award: Powerlase (Crawley, England), manufacturer of nanosecond Q-switched, diode-pumped solid-state (DPSS) lasers, was awarded The Business Achievement Award 2008 by Clarke Willmott for being the fastest-growing technology business. Powerlase’s rapid growth rate is a reflection of its established global presence and success in plasma display screen manufacturing processes, says the company, and it has strengthened its position as a global laser supplier through the development of distribution channels in Europe, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and China. In addition, Powerlase’s new 100G and 200G lasers have been developed to benefit the solar-cell processing and AMOLED screen display markets.

Healthy LCD forecast: DisplaySearch (Austin, TX), display market research and consulting firm, reports in its Quarterly TFT LCD Supply/Demand and Capital Spending Report that 2008 is expected to see sales of equipment used to manufacture thin-film-transistor liquid-crystal displays (TFT LCDs) surge 58% to $13 billion, reaching near-historic levels not seen since 2004. According to DisplaySearch VP of Manufacturing Research Charles Annis, “Reduced fab utilization in July by panel manufacturers combined with seasonal demand affects could lead to healthier supply/demand in September and October.” Spurred by the large number of new fabs being built this year and ramping next, TFT LCD array capacity is expected to rise at a compound annual growth rate of 35% from 2000 to 2013.

Must-have AMOLEDs: According to an August 14 report from display consultant and forecasting firm Insight Media (Norwalk, CT), Nokia will only select panel suppliers who are able to develop amorphous organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) displays. Although Nokia does not currently use AMOLED displays in its products, Nokia wants to have long-term partnerships with its suppliers and those suppliers must have development and volume production plans for AMOLED panels in place. AUO and TPO Display, two Nokia panel suppliers who have not been very active on the AMOLED front recently, are now re-instituting AMOLED development programs.

ASAP software release: Breault Research Organization (BRO; Tucson, AZ) released an enhanced version of its Advanced Systems Analysis Program, ASAP. The ASAP 2008 V2R1 release, a tool for virtual prototyping of optical systems and devices, includes the following enhancements: User-defined penalty functions have been added to help guide optimization routines toward ideal solutions; Realistic Retarder Models have been added to complement Realistic Polarizer Models; Poincare Sphere Enhancements; A larger set of roughness and scatter models that are grouped by manufacturer where appropriate; ASAP will now automatically detect and interactively manage duplicate geometry during the IGES import process, and an even wider range of CAD geometries may be imported; Improved system geometry for visualization in the 3-D Viewer.

Organic grand opening: On Thursday, October 30th 2008, the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems (IPMS; Dresden, Germany) will have a grand opening for the expansion of its Center for Organic Materials and Electronic Devices Dresden, or COMEDD. Fraunhofer IPMS is undergoing the conversion of its organics clean room along with the construction of a worldwide unique fabrication technology for the large-area deposition of organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). The grand opening will include a tour of the clean room and a press conference. Visitors are also asked to visit COMEDD’s OLED showroom and participate in their symposium with a keynote speech by Stephen Forrest and representatives from notable lighting companies; contact [email protected]

Nanopatterning system sales: Nanopatterning equipment provider Molecular Imprints (Austin, TX) announced that Yamagata Fujitsu placed an order for its newly introduced Imprio HD2200 system to be used for patterned media development at the company’s manufacturing facility in Japan. Molecular Imprints says that hard disk drive (HDD) companies, driven by the need to substantially enhance storage capacities and decrease cost, are turning to nanopatterning solutions for their high resolution and low cost of ownership. This sale represents the ninth Imprio system sold to the HDD industry in total, and the seventh sold to the HDD industry within the past 12 months.

Gyro contract: Northrop Grumman Corporation won a contract to supply high-accuracy inertial navigation systems (INS) for four new Buques de Accion Maritima (Maritime Action Ships) being built for the Spanish navy at the Navantia shipyard in Ferrol, northwest Spain. The contract, valued at more than $1.5 million, was awarded by Navantia to Northrop Grumman’s Sperry Marine business unit. Installation, commissioning, and trials will be overseen by Sperry Marine’s sales and service representative in Spain. Each of the ships will be fitted with one MK 39 Mod 3A ring laser gyro (RLG) INS and one MK 27 fiber-optic gyrocompass. The MK 39 Mod 3A will provide both high-accuracy geographic positioning information and precise attitude and heading data for navigation and weapon systems.

POF to break records: The 17 International Conference on Plastic Optical Fibers (POF 2008; pof2008.com) will be held August 25–28, 2008 in Santa Clara, CA. The event is organized by the International Committee on Plastic Optical Fibers (ICPOF) and Information Gatekeepers and is held yearly in Europe, the U.S., and Asia Pacific on a rotating basis. Pre-registration attendance at this year’s event has already eclipsed all other events. Conference organizers say the increase in attendance can be attributed to the growing demand for low-cost, low-weight, and EMI-free optical links provided by POF.

People in the news: Effective July 1, 2008, Elke Eckstein assumed the post of COO at OSRAM Opto Semiconductors GmbH (Regensburg, Germany). Her predecessor, Jörg Thäle, who held the post from 2006 to April 2008, has moved to the parent company, OSRAM GmbH, where he holds the position of CEO of the Low Pressure Discharge Business Unit. Eckstein brings more than 25 years of experience in the semiconductor sector to her new position, as well as extensive specialist knowledge. Most recently, she was VP, manufacturing, at semiconductor factory AMD in Dresden. Before moving to AMD, she was CEO for three years at ALTIS Semiconductor, a joint venture between IBM and Infineon.

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