News Briefs

Asian laser presence: Philippe Brak, the new VP and general manager of the Laser Division of GSI Group (Rugby, England), a manufacturer of industrial lasers, has outlined plans to expand the company’s sales presence in China and the E.

Asian laser presence: Philippe Brak, the new VP and general manager of the Laser Division of GSI Group (Rugby, England), a manufacturer of industrial lasers, has outlined plans to expand the company’s sales presence in China and the E.U. Along with news of the opening of a new laser applications lab in Suzhou, China, a partnership has been formed in which Chutian Laser Group (Wuhan, China) will act as GSI’s China distributor, adding over 30 sales and service people to GSI’s existing China sales team. In addition to GSI’s plans for targeting Asia, Brak announced an expansion of GSI’s sales force in Germany. With the majority of the E.U. industrial process laser market located in Germany, Brak aims to aggressively target this growing market.

Retail LED lighting: Light-emitting diode (LED) solutions company DDP (El Segundo, CA) has embedded its LED color wash lighting system into eight architectural columns throughout Rubensteins, a New Orleans-based fashion boutique. The system is synchronized through a master controller to subtly change colors throughout the day. DDP’s lighting system includes custom light engines, diffuser panels, and microprocessor-controlled schemes to suit any lighting guideline. “We thoroughly enjoyed working with the architect to achieve a visually appealing atmosphere in Rubensteins that enhances the shopping experience for its customers,” said Tony Toniolo, DDP president.

LCD TV shipments to double: According to research firm iSuppli (El Segundo, CA), global shipments of liquid-crystal-display televisions (LCD-TVs) will nearly double from 2008 to 2012. Worldwide shipments will rise to 193.9 million units by 2012, increasing at a compound annual growth rate of 67% percent from 100.1 million units in 2008. “Consumers no longer want bulky, heavy CRT-TVs that have inferior resolution,” said Riddhi Patel, principal analyst for television systems at iSuppli. “Instead, they want space-efficient sets that can support the full-HD 1080p pixel format. LCD-TVs in the 42-inch size range in the first quarter of 2006 were priced at $2,000 and above, but now can be purchased for less than $1,000, making them affordable for a wider range of consumers.”

OLED Asian facility: Novaled (Dresden, Germany), organic LED (OLED) know-how and service provider, reinforced its presence in the Asian market by opening a Japan branch office in Tokyo. This office will further improve the service and support to existing customers, sustain the running cooperations and partnerships, and develop the company activities in the organic electronic field where the doped organics technology of Novaled is expected to play a key role. “Japan remains a major center for the OLED industry and can play an important role in the fast emerging organic electronics markets,” said Yoichi Kadota, Novaled Country Manager Japan. “We have the proper technology to support these industry moves.”

LED award: LED manufacturer Seoul Semiconductor (Seoul, Korea) announced that its flash LED was named ‘Product of the Year for 2008’ by Elektronik, one of the most prestigious electronics magazines in Germany. Elektronik’s annual Best Product Award polls its readers to select the most innovative products. The Elektronik editorial team pre-selected 111 products in 10 different categories for the vote. This year Seoul Semicondutor’s flash LED was selected as the best product in the Optoelectronics category, making it the second time for Seoul’s products to receive this award. The first was Acriche, the world’s first AC-driven semiconductor lighting source, awarded as ‘Product of the Year for 2006’.

Printed solar cell award: The U.S. Display Consortium (USDC; San Jose, CA) announced a one-year development contract with Optomec (Albuquerque, NM) to further develop its M3D Aerosol Jet System, enabling finer resolution line widths and faster, more efficient production capabilities for printed electronics. Under the $750,000 cost-shared award, Optomec will focus on developing a printing platform for next-generation devices, such as high-density circuitry for printable electronics, displays and photovoltaic cells. Optomec was recently recognized by IDTechEx for its “New Manufacturing Technology Enabling Production of Higher Efficiency Solar Cells”.

LED financing: Luminus Devices (Billerica, MA), the developer and manufacturer of PhlatLight (photonic lattice) LED products, closed a new round of financing of over $72 million. The investor syndicate was led by Braemar Energy Ventures (Boston, MA) and included a number of other funds, notably CMEA Ventures (San Francisco, CA) and Paladin Capital Group (Washington, DC), which are similarly focused on energy and environmentally friendly technologies. In addition, all of Luminus’ previous investors participated in the financing. Traditionally focused on light sources for the TV and display industry, Luminus is now targeting a broader array of applications for its PhlatLight LED technology such as consumer lighting, medical, and homeland security applications.

Missile sensor: Raytheon Company (El Segundo, CA) demonstrated a fully integrated, high-performance infrared sensor ahead of schedule for the Risk Reduction Alternative Infrared Satellite Systems program. The program aims to prove that wide-field-of-view infrared sensors can maintain persistent full-earth surveillance for missile warning in a relatively small, low-risk, and easily manufactured payload. Having successfully completed in fewer than 18 months the demonstration of a novel sensor able to monitor the entire earth, Raytheon is preparing to finish environmental testing. After this, the sensor will go to the Air Force Research Laboratory for further evaluation.

People in the news: Laser Cladding Services (LCS; Houston, TX) added Eswar Yarrapareddy to serve as the company’s laser cladding development engineer. Yarrapareddy will supervise the development of laser cladding processes using CO2, diode, and fiber lasers. With more than six years of industrial and research experience in laser materials processing, metallurgy, and materials science, he has worked extensively in process optimization and control of laser cladding and E-Beam direct-metal deposition.

Phyworks (Bristol, England) appointed Sam Mitani as director of business development. Based in California, he will focus on applications for the company’s 10 Gbps electronic dispersion compensation and clock data recovery products. Mitani brings more than 15 years of experience in optical communication component sales and joins Phyworks from JDSU company Picolight where he was west coast sales director.

Viviane Reding, European commissioner for information society and media, and Thierry Van der Pyl, head of the Commission’s Photonics Unit, were recognized by the Optical Society of America (OSA) as its 2008 Advocates of Optics. Reding was selected as this year’s advocate for her vision in supporting and establishing a Photonics Unit within the European Commission. Van der Pyl was recognized for his leadership within the Photonics Unit. To be an OSA Advocate of Optics, a public official must have a record consistent with his or her support of science, optics, and photonics and be an enthusiastic advocate for science policy issues, with particular regard to the advancement of the science of light.

Europractice offers MEMS: The Europractice Service, offered by IMEC (Leuven, Belgium), was launched by the European Commission in 1995 to help companies improve their competitive position in world markets by adopting ASIC, Multi-Chip Module, or Microsystems solutions in the products they manufacture. The program helps to reduce the perceived risks and costs associated with these technologies by offering potential users a range of services. Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) manufacturer Tronics Microsystems (Crolles, France) and IMEC announced their collaboration to enable Europractice IC Service to add MEMS to its Multi-Project Wafer (MPW) programs.

Silicon photomultipliers contract: SensL (Cork, Ireland, and Mountain View, CA), a provider of low-light solutions that use the company’s proprietary silicon detectors, signed a $200,000 contract with the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab; Newport News, VA) for the optimization of low-light detectors and the supply of prototypes for possible use in the lab’s GlueX experiment, a nuclear physics experiment that aims to understand the nature of confinement in quantum chromodynamics by mapping the spectra of exotic mesons generated by the excitation of the gluonic field that binds quarks. SensL’s silicon photomultiplier (SPM) technology offers significant benefits over other detector technologies (such as photomultiplier tubes) due to its high uniformity, low operating voltage, robustness, scalable form factor, and immunity to high magnetic fields.

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