News Briefs

Patent litigation: Cree (Durham, NC) filed a lawsuit against BridgeLux (formerly eLite Optoelectronics) for infringement of U.

Oct 1st, 2006

Patent litigation: Cree (Durham, NC) filed a lawsuit against BridgeLux (formerly eLite Optoelectronics) for infringement of U.S. Patent #6,657,236 and #5,686,738. Cree’s ‘236 patent, entitled “Enhanced Light Extraction in LEDs through the Use of Internal and External Optical Elements,” relates to light extraction structures used in LEDs. The ‘738 patent, entitled “Highly Insulating Monocrystalline Gallium Nitride Thin Films,” relates to semiconductor devices manufactured using a gallium nitride-based buffer technology. The ‘738 patent is owned by Boston University and licensed to Cree on an exclusive basis. Boston University is a co-plaintiff in the suit. The ‘738 patent was also the subject of two prior suits brought by Cree and Boston University against Nichia Corporation and AXT both of which resulted in settlements.

Consolidation: Essex Corporation (Columbia, MD), a provider of advanced signal, image, information processing, information assurance and cyber-security solutions primarily for government intelligence and defense customers, is acquiring Adaptive Optics Associates (AOA; Cambridge, MA) from Metrologic Instruments (Blackwood, NJ), for $40.2 million in cash. AOA is maker of high-performance electro-optic products and systems. The company has approximately 175 employees, many of whom have high-level security clearances. Essex expects AOA to be profitable, with more than $36 million in pro forma revenue for 2006, of which more than 85% is for US government customers.

Strategic partners: Pirelli Broadband Solutions (Cannes, France), the broadband access and photonics company within the Pirelli Group, today announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership with Arasor International Limited, a developer of integrated optoelectronic and wireless solutions, to jointly develop and provide optical solutions for global system integrators. Under the partnership, Pirelli will go to market with a jointly developed new line of Integrable Tunable Laser Assembly modules for next-generation optical transport applications. The solution, a compact module with built-in control electronics and Pirelli’s tunable laser, will be produced in Arasor’s Guangzhou, China facility.

Automotive displays: Microvision (Redmond, WAs), a developer of light scanning technologies for display and imaging products, has entered into a development agreement with a major global automotive supplier to develop a commercial scanned-beam head-up display (HUD) product for automotive applications. For confidentiality reasons, the name of the supplier and the details of the contract were withheld. Under the agreement, the supplier and Microvision will design and produce a series of advanced HUD samples, including devices specifically designed to be compatible with demanding automotive environmental requirements.

Optical mice: Microsoft (Bellingham, WA) has again selected Ulm Photonics (Ulm, Germany) as its preferred supplier of lasers for two mouse computer peripherals it is developing. Ulm, created by a management buy-out from a joint venture with Schott AG (Mainz, Germany) in July 2005, has been the preferred laser supplier for the Microsoft Wireless Laser Mouse 6000 and Wireless Notebook Laser Mouse 6000 since 2005. The company makes vertical cavity surface-emitting lasers.

Very SMART: M Squared Lasers (Glasgow, Scotland) has won a £50,000 SMART award from the Scottish Executive, to fund the development of next-generation deep ultraviolet diode-pumped solid-state lasers. This is the second SMART award in M Squared’s first year of operation. M Squared will leverage its unique ICE-BLOC instrumentation modules, and proprietary InvarianT opto-mechanical mounting technique to aid in the development of new, robust DUV platforms for a number of applications.

Navy contract: FLIR Systems (Portland, OR) has received an order valued at $6.7 million from the US Navy’s Naval Surface Warfare Center - Crane for the delivery of Enhanced Targeting Sight Infrared Imaging Systems. This order is the first production order under an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract from the US Navy valued at approximately $35 million. The systems are based on the company’s rugged SeeSpot III high-performance thermal imager that allows operators to identify targets and view laser designators simultaneously.

Laser plasma: The Japanese National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) has purchased Starlase AO2/G lasers from Powerlase (Crawley, England)-manufacturers of nanosecond Q-switched, diode-pumped solid state lasers-to advance the development of applications in laser-produced plasma. The deal follows a recent distribution agreement with the Japan Laser Corporation, which allows the promotion of the entire AO Starlase range. The AO2/G is a development of the AO2 (200 W) laser from Powerlase.

“We needed a pump laser that emits power exceeding 80W with an outstanding beam quality of M? around 20 or better to up-grade a LPP light source in our EUPS system,” said Toshihisa Tomie of AIST. “EUPS is ultra-sensitive to impurities and defects on surface and interface, and I believe it will become an important analytical technique in developing nano-materials and -devices.”

US distributor: Multiwave Photonics (Portugal), a supplier of optical sources based in fiber-optic technologies for, industrial, biomedical instruments, and fiber sensing applications, today announced the appointment of an exclusive US distributor. Multiwave has appointed Market Tech (Scotts Valley, CA) as its distributor for all products in the USA. Multiwave’s products include amplified stimulated emission sources, polarization maintaining fiber amplifiers, laser diode drivers and pulsed seed lasers, especially suited for fiber laser applications.

OSA leadership: As of Jan. 4, 2007, Anthony Campillo will join OSA as its senior director of science policy. In this capacity, he will provide strategic direction on the Society’s scientific programming, leveraging his technical expertise to help expand OSA programs and activities. Campillo is an active volunteer and fellow of OSA, currently serving as editor-in-chief of Optics Letters. Campillo has more than 40 years of experience in optics and photonics and has been a member of OSA since 1966.

Bigger digs: Lytron (Woburn, MA) recently opened a new factory and corporate office space in Woburn, doubling its square footage and increasing its manufacturing capabilities. The company says it is positioning itself for continued growth and needed to make room for equipment and the addition of staff from its recent acquisition of Lockhart Industries. Lytron purchased a building adjacent to its existing facility in 2004, and started renovations and construction in 2005. Lytron now occupies more than 115,000 square feet of space.

LEOS award: Three senior Infinera (Sunnyvale, CA) engineers-Charles Joyner, Radha Nagarajan, and Richard Schneider-are being honored with the Aron Kressel LEOS Award for their contribution to the development of the Infinera photonic integrated circuit (PIC). The annual Aron Kressel LEOS Award recognizes important contributions to opto-electronic device technology, with an emphasis on “technology which has found its way into widespread usage,” according to LEOS. The award will be presented at the LEOS annual meeting in Montreal, Canada on Monday, October 30, 2006.

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