News Briefs

May 1, 2005

Changing hands

Fabrinet (San Francisco, CA), an engineering and electromechanical manufacturing services company, plans to purchase JDS Uniphase (Santa Clara, CA) manufacturing facilities located in Fuzhou, China. Under terms of the arrangement, Fabrinet will acquire all assets and operations related to the Fuzhou plant, including R&D and the manufacture of products such as crystals and precision optics. Terms of the agreement were not revealed. The 225,000 sq ft Fuzhou plant employs more than 500 engineers, technicians, and skilled operators, all of whom are expected to transfer to Fabrinet and continue their employment at the site. Fabrinet intends to utilize the existing core management and technical expertise at the site to grow its optical component business in China and in other regions the company serves.

Fabrinet has been providing manufacturing services to JDS Uniphase since 2000. In December 2004, the company acquired JDS Uniphase manufacturing facilities in Singapore and Indonesia. Last month JDS Uniphase announced its intent to divest manufacturing facilities in Ewing and Mountain Lakes, NJ to Fabrinet as part of broader cost-savings initiatives.

“Transferring ownership of our facility and operations in Fuzhou, China, to our contract manufacturing partner, Fabrinet, is part of our ongoing strategy to decrease cost structure for profitability while streamlining our portfolio along strategic core product lines to increase our corporate agility,” said Minoo Zohouri, VP of global materials for JDS Uniphase.

Major shareholder

Jenoptik Laser, Optik, Systeme GmbH (Jena, Germany) has acquired 51% of the stock in Eisenacher Photonic Sense GmbH. Eisenacher specializes in the manufacture and sale of raw material components comprising high grade optical germanium and silizium (see glossary). By acquiring the majority holding in the company, Jenoptik says it is securing access to these key raw materials for optical components. The germanium and silizium crystals are grown by Photonic Sense in crystal growing facilities on the basis of a new and original technology and then further processed using CNC-controlled milling, polishing and sawing processes to create plane optics, lenses and mirrors. Optical components made from germanium and silizium are used primarily in night sight equipment, thermal imaging and monitoring cameras and pyrometrics (contactless temperature measurement), particularly in automobile sensors, medicine, and for high-performance lasers.

High-power fiber laser

IPG Laser (Bremen, Germany) has installed the first 17-kW fiber laser at the Test Center for Aluminum Alloy Welding (Centr-Al) at BIAS GmbH (Bremen). The Test Center will use the YLR-17000 fiber laser for deep penetration and high speed welding of different materials for pipeline, aircraft, aerospace, transportation, shipbuilding, and automotive applications. According to IPG, the fiber laser has a beam parameter of 11 mm x mrad delivered through a 30-m fiber with a diameter of 200 µm.

Patent license

Samsung SDI (Seoul, South Korea) signed an OLED patent license agreement with Universal Display (Ewing, NJ). The agreement paves the way for Samsung SDI to integrate Universal Display’s proprietary OLED technologies into Samsung SDI’s active-matrix OLED display products. Samsung SDI is the largest supplier of passive-matrix OLED displays in the world. Samsung SDI intends to introduce Universal Display’s phosphorescent materials and associated technology in Samsung SDI’s initial active-matrix OLED products.

$3 million

Polychromix (Wilmington, MA), a developer of modular optical subsystem solutions for optical networking and molecular spectroscopy, received $3 million in additional venture funding from new investor, Lighthouse Capital Partners.

“Polychromix has succeeded in a tough optical telecommunications market and has distinguished themselves from their competitors with their product’s unique functionality and attractive ROI to win current carrier bids,” said Ned Hazen, general partner of Lighthouse Capital Partners. “We are also very excited about being part of the advancement of a new generation of scientific instruments being developed for applications in the pharmaceutical, agricultural and petro-chemical industries.”

Fiber-laser research

The Air Force Research Laboratory (Kirtland Air Force Base, NM) is giving Southampton Photonics Inc. (SPI; Los Gatos, CA) nearly $3.5 million as part of a research program to develop a fiber laser. Over the next two years, the laboratory’s Directed Energy Directorate will be working with SPI on specialized fiber amplifiers. Fiber lasers and fiber amplifiers use fibers that closely resemble optical fibers but are generally composed of Ytterbium-doped cores, material that can enhance a laser beam as it travels through the fiber. As the length of the fiber increases, the light traveling through the fiber continues to gain energy. The diameter of the fiber cores vary between 5-40 um and limit the power scaling capability of these relatively new solid-state lasers.

“SPI will help us scale fiber amplifiers to the powers we need for various military applications,” said Program Analyst Eric Lindom. “Our ability to scale fiber amplifiers with polarized, narrow spectral output is primarily limited by nonlinear effects and damage to the fiber core. Under the terms of the contract, Southampton will identify these limiting effects, conduct demonstrations and provide us with the necessary technical details to commercialize the high-power amplifiers required in fiber lasers.”

Cancer detection

Mediscience Technology (Cherry Hill, NJ) announced that it is in development of an adjunctive instrument called the Cancer Detection (CD) Map, to facilitate the acquisition of fluorescence images from surgical breast specimens (ex vivo) following lumpectomies and surgical procedures. The instrument will be used to define the margins of tumors at the point-of-care, thus allowing the physician to achieve clear margins in real time during cancer surgery without the use of extrinsic dyes, drugs, or other invasive agents.

The CD-Map is a UV/visible fluorescence imaging system designed to gain image emission from native fluorophors in tissue. A tunable light source and movable filters permit the acquisition of images at multiple combinations of emission and excitation wavelengths. Intensity ratio maps are computer generated from the fluorescence images and either the intensity images or pseudo-color ratio images are displayed.

Novel inspection

Radiant Imaging (Duvall, WA) and Royal Philips Electronics (Eindhoven, The Netherlands) have entered into a licensing agreement to commercialize a novel inspection device based on technology developed by Philips. According to the companies, the Parousiameter is an innovative instrument that provides comprehensive characterization of display and LED output, collecting all view angles in a single measurement that takes only a few seconds, thus delivering a significant time and cost savings over goniophotometers or spot photometers. Under the terms of the agreement, Radiant Imaging will build and sell instruments based on Philips technology and develop data acquisition and image processing software that will be licensed back to Philips.

Submit your news to Optoelectronics Report. Sales reports, market outlooks, and strategic moves are just a few of the items we would like you to share. Please fax information to Kathy Kincade at (603) 891-0475 or send e-mail to [email protected].

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