News Briefs

Finisar to acquire certain Infineon assets

Infineon (Munich, Germany) may have changed its mind about selling its entire fiberoptics business to Finisar (Sunnyvale, CA) in January, but the company changed it back a few weeks later. The two companies have entered into a definitive agreement for Finisar to acquire certain assets of Infineon’s Fiber Optics Business Unit (Berlin, Germany) for $50 million. The acquisition involves the transfer of inventory, fixed assets, and intellectual property associated with the design and manufacture of fiberoptic transceivers, including a broad range of 10 gigabit transceiver designs for XPAK, X2, XENPAK and XFP form factors. Infineon will retain ownership of its other businesses consisting of BIDI components for FTTH applications, parallel optical components, and plastic optical fiber components used in automotive applications.

In related news, Infineon announced plans to close three factories, in Berlin, Munich, and Longmont, CO, as part of a planned reorganization of its remaining fiberoptics business. According to the company about 350 employees will be affected.

Thailand facility

Fabrinet (San Francisco, CA), an engineering and electromechanical manufacturing services company, has officially opened its new Pinehurst manufacturing campus in Pathumthani, Thailand. The facility, which is already in the process of being expanded with the construction of a second building, will manufacture complex optical, mechanical, and electronic components, modules, and subassemblies.

X-ray laser

Plans by the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC; Menlo Park, CA) to build a new synchrotron X-ray source received a major boost thanks to $54 million in funding provided by the U.S. Congress in the fiscal 2005 budget appropriation. Congress began funding project engineering and design work for the project, called the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), in fiscal 2003 with $6 million. Last year, the LCLS received $7.5 million for engineering and design and $2 million for research and development. Construction will officially begin in 2006

Modulators for NIF

JDS Uniphase (San Jose, CA) has been awarded a contract to provide electro-optic modulators for the National Ignition Facility (NIF) Project at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL; Livermore, CA). As part of the 192-beam laser system, NIF is using custom designed and manufactured JDS Uniphase lithium niobate modulators. With these modulators, which are critical for precise pulse shaping, the NIF laser should be able to perform a broad range of applications in high-energy-density, inertial fusion energy, and basic science research.

Display deal

Avecia (Manchester, England) sold its OLED materials and polymer electronics businesses to Merck KGaA (Darmstadt, Germany) for EUR 50 million (US$64 million) in cash. The acquisition includes Avecia’s displays business, Covion Organic Semiconductors GmbH (Frankfurt, Germany) and Avecia’s polymer electronics research and development activities based in Manchester. Merck purchased the OLED R&D activities of Schott AG (Mainz, Germany) last December.

OLLA for OLEDs

More than 20 of Europe’s leading companies and research establishments in organic electronics and materials and lighting applications have joined together in OLLA (Aachen, Germany), an integrated R&D project to advance organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technologies. OLLA-”High Brightness Organic Light-Emitting Diodes for ICT (Information, Communications and Technology) & Lighting Applications”-has a project goal to demonstrate in 2008 high-brightness white OLED light tiles for use in general lighting.

Nanoparticulate project

Cambridge Display Technology (CDT; Cambridge, England) has joined forces with ILFORD Imaging Switzerland in a project that should help pave the way for more optically efficient display devices in the future. The project-which will complete its initial proof-of-principle phase by the end of the first quarter of 2005-is designed to evaluate and quantify the performance advantages that may be available from this novel approach.

ILFORD is a manufacturer of precision-coated, ink jet printing consumables, and has discovered that certain nanoporous structures have potentially valuable properties when applied to polymer light-emitting-diode displays. The new materials, when integrated into a display device, have optical properties that help to transmit light that would otherwise be trapped and lost.

USDC contracts

Binghamton University (Binghamton, NY) was awarded a contract from the U.S. Display Consortium (USDC; San Jose, CA) to establish and operate the Center for Advanced Microelectronics Manufacturing. The USDC will initially provide $10 million in equipment to establish the center, which will combine resources from the USDC, Binghamton University and other academic, government and industry partners to help speed microelectronics manufacturing research and development in a roll-to-roll (R2R) format.

In related news, Vitex Systems (San Jose, CA) was also awarded a research and development contract from the USDC; Vitex and USDC will share the near $2-million cost of the multi-phased project, which will target scaling-up Vitex’s proprietary flexible glass substrate technology to high-volume R2R manufacturing capability for the production of flexible OLEDs.

NIF contract

Adaptive Optics Associates (Blackwood, NJ) was awarded a multi-million-dollar contract from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Livermore, CA) to produce 42 input sensor packages (ISPs) to be used on the National Ignition Facility project. The ISPs comprise several opto-mechanical subassemblies designed to provide an alignment reference laser and diagnostics for the main laser power, energy, and beam quality for the 192 NIF beam lines.

Fiberoptic gyros

KVH Industries (Middletown, RI) has been awarded U.S. Patent #6,836,334, “Angle Random Walk (ARW) Noise Reduction in Fiber Optic Sensors Using an Optical Amplifier,” for its fiberoptic gyro line. The invention includes a system and method for reducing a component of the ARW noise in a fiberoptic sensor. This reduction has the potential to increase the precision and accuracy of KVH’s family of FOGs, which are used in a wide variety of commercial and military applications.

Instrumentation partners

Sira (Kent, England) and Integrated Technologies (ITL; Kent, England) are partnering to enable their clients to bring innovative ideas for clinical diagnostic instruments to market. Together the two companies will offer a new service to take clients: ideas for advanced opto-electronic medical instruments through concept design and prototype development to design for manufacture and volume manufacture.

Sira has particular experience in optical instruments, including laser systems, scanners, spectroscopic, endoscopes, 3D, cognitive vision and all types of imaging and sensing; ITL is a contract specialist engineering company offering high quality design and manufacturing services, with particular emphasis in the in-vitro medical diagnostic, analytical, and laboratory markets.

LED acquisition

PerkinElmer (Wellesley, MA) acquired Elcos AG (Pfaffenhofen, Germany), a leading designer and manufacturer of custom LED solutions for biomedical and industrial applications. The transaction combines Elcos’ visible LED technology platform and strong customer and application base with PerkinElmer’s global sales, application, and support organization. Elcos had 2004 revenues of $11.3 million with over 60% coming from health sciences applications, including blood glucose monitoring and pulse oximetry. Consideration for the transaction was $15 million cash and the potential for earn out payments based on the future performance of the business.

Imaging news

The Board of Directors of the Society for Imaging Science and Technology (IS&T; Springfield, VA) appointed Suzanne Grinnan to the position of executive director effective January 1, 2005. Grinnan replaces Calva Leonard, who retired after leading the organization for more than 18 years. Grinnan brings more than 11 years of nonprofit management experience with her to the position, five spent at a scientific society. For the past six years Grinnan has been with the American International Health Alliance, serving first as publications manager and then as director of publications and media relations. Prior to that, Grinnan was employed by the Optical Society of America where she held the positions of production manager and managing editor for Optics & Photonics News.

New territory

FiberLabs (Saitam, Japan), a private corporation previously spun out of KDD Laboratories, is now selling its line of optical amplifiers and ASE sources are now available in Canada and the United States through a team of manufacturers’ representatives. Region-wide sales, marketing, and technical support is provided through OgMentum (Sonoma, CA). FiberLabs’ broad line of products supports the O, S, C, and L bands and other wavelengths from 850 nm to 2,000 nm.

Machine vision

Webview (Santa Rosa, CA), a provider of machine vision technologies and products, has purchased all of the assets and intellectual property of the Spectrum Vision System by Advanced Technologies, formerly located in Palm Harbor, FL. Over the last 17 years, Spectrum Vision Systems have been installed around the world, inspecting products for some of the world’s largest companies. The system can inspect pharmaceuticals, food products, packaging, labeling, automotive products and virtually any other product, at speeds up to 10,000 parts per minute.

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 kkincade@alamedanet.net.

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