InPhase Technologies (Longmont, CO) announced a breakthrough in data storage with what the company says is the world’s first prototype of a holographic storage drive. The prototype is the foundation for InPhase’s family of Tapestry holographic drives, with data capacities that range from 200 GB to 1.6 TB on a single disk. The completion of the prototype was enabled by InPhase’s development of certain recording techniques and holographic media, the commercial availability of critical components, strong partnerships with leading storage developers, and government funding. The prototype drive records data into InPhase’s patented two-chemistry Tapestry photopolymer WORM material. The prototype arranges more than one million bits of data into a single page, which is recorded with a single flash of a 407 nm laser beam. Multiple pages of data, referred to as a book, are recorded in one spot on the disk providing approximately 12 MB of data in a single book location.
Samsung Electronics (Seoul, Korea) has developed what it claims is the largest single-panel active matrix-based organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display. At 21 inches, this OLED features the highest resolution at 6.22 million pixels (wide ultra-extended graphics array). The company adopted active-matrix-based technology for its low-power consumption and high-resolution qualities; in addition, display is built on amorphous silicon technology, which can be mass-produced within Samsung’s existing TFT-LCD lines.
The headquarters for the Photonics Industry Association of New York (PIANY; Rochester, NY), formerly in Rome, NY, have been relocated to Rochester, NY.
The Organization’s new website is at www.newyorkphotonics.org. In addition, Thomas Battley has been named executive director of PIANY. Battley was formerly Economic Development Director for Monroe County, Rochester, NY, and sat upon the Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster Board. Other newly designated officers and board members include:
- Gary Connners, GGC Imaging, President
- Anthony Pirera, Spectrum Thin Films, Vice President
- George Hippisley, Cohasset Enterprises, Secretary
- Steve Heveron-Smith, Lumetrics, Treasurer
- Geoffrey Burnham, HiTech Biomedical Systems
- John Hart, ASE Instruments
- Arnold Lanckton, Geomatecs, LLC
- Leonard Simon, G-S Plastic Optics
- James Sydor, Sydor Optics
MetaStable Instruments (St. Peters, MO) received U.S. Patent #6,836,364 covering dynamically-balanced bi-index refractive beam steerers. This new technology is expected to benefit numerous high speed beam steering and scanning applications in which space is at a premium. MetaStable is seeking opportunities to advance this technology through development contracts, sales, or licenses.
Novalux (Sunnyvale, CA) appointed Michael Jansen as chief operating officer of the corporation. Jansen has more than 20 years of experience in the photonics industry and has served in executive management roles in several companies, most recently as vice president of engineering at Coherent, where he was responsible for bringing numerous high power laser diode products to volume manufacturing, and spearheaded the development of aluminum-free technology.
NanoInk (Chicago, IL) has established an exclusive network of authorized distributors for its NSCRIPTOR nanolithography system, which incorporates its proprietary Dip Pen Nanolithography (DPN) process for building at the micron scale and nanoscale. NanoInk remains the only corporation in the United States that can legitimately offer DPN technology for sale, and the company has entered into distribution agreements with the following organizations for representation of its NSCRIPTOR system and related DPN products: Twinson International in China, Spectronic Instruments Pvt. in India, Esco Corporation in Korea, L.O.T. - Oriel throughout Europe, Toyo Corporation in Japan, and Lih Yuan Enterprise in Taiwan. NanoInk employs exclusive direct-sales channels to sell DPN products within the United States, Canada, and other countries currently without a local representative. Any parties other than NanoInk or its exclusive distributors who are offering DPN technology for sale in the United States or elsewhere are doing so without appropriate licenses and risk legal action.
Thermal infrared camera specialists CEDIP Infrared Systems (Croissy Beauborg, France) has announced its fourth consecutive year of double-digit growth in international sales. In 2004, CEDIP says it achieved revenue growth of more than 12% compared to 2003, with export sales accounting for 70% of turnover. According to Pierre Potet, president of CEDIP, the company’s continuing strong organic growth has been driven by new products introduced over the last year, including the Ruby Night Vision camera and the Emerald Large Format cooled camera, and also to the consolidation of the company’s sale organization in the United States.
Color-change specialist Sherwood Technology (Widnes, Cheshire, England) has been awarded a U.S. patent for its method for laser marking edible products. This new generation coding, marking, and printing additive allows a safe, high contrast image to be formed onto edible products in the pharmaceutical and confectionery industries such as pills, capsules, and hard shelled sweets. The process utilizes a unique chemistry that reacts with a beam of low-power CO2 laser energy to create an image. Previously the most common method of marking pills or hard shell confectionery products required a mechanical embossing or surface printing method, both of which result in a significant number of rejects due to damaged or cracked products. Noncontact printing methods such as inkjet are largely unsuitable due to the spread of the ink droplets and slow drying of the ink.
According to a soon-to-be-released report from Business Communications Company (Norwalk, CT), “RGB-314 Nanotechnology for Photonics,” the global market for nanophotonic devices is projected to grow from $420.7 million in 2004 to $9,325 million in 2009, with an AAGR (average annual growth rate) of 85.8% between 2004 and 2009. BCC says that nanophotonic light-emitting diodes, whose applications include flat panel and plasma displays, accounted for more than 82% of the nanophotonics market in 2004. Near-field optics and nanocrystalline dye-sensitized solar cells accounted for the remainder of the market with shares of 14.4% and 3.3%, respectively.
Nomadics (Stillwater, OK) acquired Little Optics (Annapolis Junction, MD), a developer of optical application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs). Terms of the deal were not disclosed. According to Colin Cumming, CEO of Nomadics, Little Optics’ optical ASIC and high index material technology holds the potential for breakthrough performance in the next generation of chemical, biological, and explosive sensors. The two companies expect to produce capabilities that could not be achieved by either independently. For example, the Nomadics expertise in sensing materials and portable systems will be combined with Little Optics delay lines and optical resonators to develop chemical and biological sensors with “unprecedented” sensitivity and selectivity.
Sony (Tokyo, Japan) plans to acquire the Japan-based liquid-crystal display (LCD) operations of Chi Mei Optoelectronics (Taiwan) for $176.2 million. Sony said the purchase would enable the production of up to 65,000 liquid crystal display panels per month, up from about 40,000 at present. Under the deal, Sony will own all the shares of a new company spun-off from Chi Mei’s Japan-based affiliate, International Display Technology. Sony will acquire IDTech’s factory and equipment in Yasu city, about 220 miles southwest of Tokyo. Sony will also hire IDTech’s 420 workers and plans to spend $257 million to refurbish the plant.
Out of lithography
Coherent (Santa Clara, CA) says its Lambda Physik subsidiary is discontinuing future product development and investments in the semiconductor lithography market. Lambda will continue to support its installed lithography base. As a result of this decision, the company expects to take an after-tax charge of between $3 and $6 million during the first quarter ending January 1, 2005. These charges are primarily related to excessive and obsolete inventories.
"Based upon careful analysis of market conditions, Lambda management concluded its new 193-nm LithoTex laser will not generate a satisfactory economic return and its deployment has been cancelled," said John Ambroseo, Coherent president and CEO. "The anticipated savings resulting from these transactions, which will begin in calendar 2005, will be disclosed during the upcoming first fiscal quarter earnings conference call January 25, 2005."
Back on Nasdaq
Precision Optics Corporation (Gardner, MA) has been notified by the Nasdaq Stock Market that the closing bid price of the company's common stock has closed at $1.00 per share or greater for at least 10 consecutive business days, and that the Company has regained compliance with the minimum bid price requirement for continued listing on the Nasdaq SmallCap Market. Precision Optics provides high-quality optical instruments for medical applications, including endocouplers, laparoscopes, stereo endoscopes, arthroscopes, sinuscopes, and other specialized optical devices.
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL; Los Alamos, NM) is making its semiconductor quantum-dot technology available for commercial licensing. The LANL quantum-dot portfolio includes the use of quantum dots for a broad range of applications including lighting, solar energy, lasers, and coatings. Specific items in the portfolio include two novel quantum-dot light-emitting-diode architectures, three sol-gel methods to produce materials with a high loading of quantum dots, a method of dynamic holography, and a method to dramatically raise the efficiencies and to reduce thermal losses in photonic devices such as photovoltaic solar cells.
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