News Briefs

Dec 1st, 2005

Top honors

Infinera (Sunnyvale, CA) captured the number one position in high-speed long-haul optical networks in the third quarter 2005, according to a report published by market analysts the Dell’Oro Group. According to Dell’Oro, Infinera shipped 1449 wavelengths of 10 gigabit long-haul DTN systems to customers in the third quarter, for a 20% share of the total worldwide market of 7300 wavelengths. Nortel ranked second in the market with a share of 17%. Alcatel and Siemens tied for third, each with 9%. In the 10 gigabit market as a whole, which includes both long-haul and metro applications, Infinera ranked second with a 15% share. Infinera began shipping its DTN optical system in December 2004.

LED investment

WaveLight Laser Technologie (Erlangen, Germany) has taken a “significant” minority equity stake in Enfis (Swansea, Wales), a developer and manufacturer of high-power LEDs. Enfis’ products are used in numerous health and cosmetic applications including the treatment of dermatological conditions such as acne. The deal, which was for a cash consideration, also provides for substantial technology sales and a long-term research and development agreement between the two companies for work on aesthetics applications. It follows the successful commissioning in March 2004 by WaveLight of a number of new products from Enfis. Enfis, which currently employs 22, anticipates that its workforce will grow by 50% over the next few months as a result of WaveLight’s investment.

Night vision

Kopin Corporation (Taunton, MA), the largest U.S. manufacturer of microdisplays for mobile consumer and military electronics, today announced the award of a production contract from ITT Industries Night Vision (ITT) for display subsystems to be used in the new generation of night vision equipment for the soldier, the U.S. Army’s Enhanced Night Vision Goggle (ENVG) system. The ENVG is designed to allow for improved mobility and situational awareness by providing the solider with the combined images from an image intensifier and a thermal imager. The thermal scene is displayed on Kopin’s CyberDisplay SVGA microdisplay, and the Kopin display subsystem optically combines this image with the output of an image intensifier.

Imaging award

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded a 3.5-year, $9.5 million program to Erich Ippen, a member of MIT’s Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE; Cambridge, MA) faculty, for a project titled “Optical Arbitrary Waveform Generation for Ultrahigh Resolution Sensing and Imaging.” The goal of the project is to achieve “unprecedented levels” of performance for ultrabroadband coherent optical systems and to enable dramatic advances in applications such as high-resolution 3-D imaging, novel chemical sensing, and ultrabroadband optical communications. Industry partners include Inphi (Westlake Village, CA), Multiplex (South Plainfield, NJ), and Inplane Photonics (South Plainfield, NJ).

New CEO

Kaleido Technology ApS (Farum, Denmark), a provider of ultra-precision moulded and machined optics for high-tech industrial applications, has appointed Jesper Wolf Bek as its new CEO to lead the company in its drive for further international growth. According Kaleido, Bek brings a wealth of sales, marketing and management experience from positions served in Europe and Asia, most recently with Intel. Jesper Boie Rasmussen, previous CEO of Kaleido Technology, will remain as CTO.

Terahertz components

Lumera Corporation (Bothell, WA) has signed a contract with the Pennsylvania State University Electro-Optics Center (EOC; Freeport, PA) for development of polymer-based electro-optic (EO) modulators for the detection of terahertz radiation (the modulators will cover the spectral range of 30 Ghz to 10 THz). Lumera will deliver EO materials and modulators to the EOC. The contract is valued at approximately $400,000.

Another round

Novaled GmbH (Dresden, Germany) raised 15 million euros (US$18 million) in its second round of funding to commercialize the company’s proprietary Pin OLED technology and materials. The round was led by the venture branch of Credit Agricole Private Equity, Paris, completed by venture funds of Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (CDC Entreprises Innovation; Paris, France), KfW Bankengruppe (Bonn, Germany), eCapital New Technologies Fonds AG (Muenster, Germany), and a German private investor.

Euro partners

BFi OPTiLAS International (Evry, France) and Bristol Instruments (Victor, NY) have signed a pan-European agreement whereby BFi OPTiLAS will become the exclusive distributor of Bristol Instruments’ range of laser-wavelength meters in Europe. Bristol Instruments is a new company founded by three former employees of Burleigh. In addition, BFi OPTiLAS International and Ocean Optics (Dunedin, FL) recently signed a similar agreement whereby BFi OPTiLAS will become one of the channels to market the Ocean Optics range of products in Europe. Ocean Optics, part of the Halma Group, is a leading provider of miniature spectrometers and probes.

Nano funding

The University of Rochester’s (New York) Center for Electronic Imaging Systems (CEIS) has received $1 million from the state of New York to help develop technology in the Rochester area that focuses on shrinking computer circuits beyond the microelectronics scale to the nanoelectronics scale. The technology will include nano and optoelectronics. Members of CEIS expect that products and technologies that exist today as electronic imaging systems will exhibit explosive commercial growth when combined with micro and nanoelectronic integrated circuits (ICs). These ICs will incorporate electrical and photonic pathways and interfaces to increase computational bandwidth, reduce susceptibility to interference, and lower power consumption while reducing cost in such consumer applications as computers, game devices, home-entertainment systems, and communications devices.

Finishing up

Infineon Technologies (Munich, Germany) has announced plans for its remaining fiberoptics assets: the manufacturing facility in Trutnov (Czech Republic) and the parallel optical link business. Siemens VDO (Frankfurt/Main, Germany) has signed a definitive agreement to take over Infineon’s plant in Trutnov from July 1, 2006, onward. Until next summer, Siemens VDO and Infineon plan to work in parallel at the Trutnov site, thus enabling Siemens VDO to ramp-up its production of electric motor drives while allowing Infineon to continue fulfilling all of customers’ requirements.

In August 2005, Infineon signed a definitive agreement with EZConn (Taiwan) concerning the sale of the bidirectional components business for FTTx applications. EZconn acquired all assets and IP needed to continue and to grow the business with FTTx products. EZconn plans to open a design and marketing center in Berlin, Germany, offering key employees of Infineon new jobs to continue serving Infineon’s and EZconn’s customers.

In January 2005, Infineon sold the fiber optics transceiver business to Finisar (Sunnyvale, CA). Soon thereafter, the plastic optical fiber business was reorganized to become part of Infineon’s Automotive, Industrial and Multi-Market (AIM) Business Group.

OLED partners

Idemitsu Kosan Co. Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan) and Sony Corporation have signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly develop new OLED luminous materials. To promote the joint development, they have agreed to the mutual use of each company’s OLED-related patents. The formal contract is expected to be signed at the end of January 2006.

Idemitsu developed the world’s brightest blue-light organic luminous material in 1997, based on their molecular engineering and organic synthesis technologies. Idemitsu has since continuously been developing new luminous materials for the mid-large size OLEDs. Sony is developing various material and component technologies, and presented a 13-in OLED panel in February 2001 and a 24-in OLED in January 2003, based on low temperature poly silicon TFT technologies. Sony’s mass-produced OLEDs were adopted in the company’s PDA products from September 2004. Sony is now developing new technologies to realize a mid-sized OLED panel.

Infrared imaging

DRS Technologies (Parsippany, NJ) has been awarded an $18 million contract to produce optically improved, Standard Advanced Dewar Assembly (SADA) II assemblies for use on the U.S. Army’s M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicles and M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tanks. The contract was awarded to DRS by Raytheon Company Network Centric Systems (McKinney, TX). DRS will produce and deliver SADA II assemblies for the Army’s Horizontal Technology Integration (HTI) B-Kit systems, which provide common advanced infrared imaging capabilities across several ground vehicle platforms.

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