News Briefs

China presence: DuPont Displays (Torrance, CA) has begun construction on a second production line for liquid crystal display (LCD) direct bonding in Shenzhen, China.

China presence: DuPont Displays (Torrance, CA) has begun construction on a second production line for liquid crystal display (LCD) direct bonding in Shenzhen, China. The new line comes in response to increased demand for direct-bonded consumer products such as tablet personal computers and marine electronics. The company opened its Shenzhen facility last year as part of a larger DuPont investment strategy in China and to make its direct bonding technology available to display manufacturers for the consumer market. Combining a proprietary adhesive with a cost-effective lamination process, DuPont’s direct bonding technology consists of bonding an anti-reflective glass or filter element directly onto the front of an LCD, increasing contrast ratio and ruggedization, eliminating condensation, and improving the display’s resistance to scratching, stains, and dirt.

In-house coating: G-S Plastic Optics (Rochester, NY) has completed its most recent plant expansion through the establishment of an in-house coating facility. The company integrated a precision optical coating system, built by Vacuum Process Technology (Plymouth, MA), enabling coating capabilities specific to polymer substrates. G-S will focus on providing state-of-the-art vacuum deposited coatings on polymer substrates such as PMMA, Styrene, Polycarbonate, Zeonex, Zeonor, and Topas. The facility is complete with in-house metrology including reflection and transmission measurement capability on both Perkin-Elmer Lambda 650 and Lambda 10 UV-Vis-NIR spectrophotometers and other proprietary film characterization resources.

Acquisition: ADVA Optical Networking (Chicago, IL) signed a definitive agreement to acquire Movaz Networks (Atlanta, GA), a provider of wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) equipment, for US$6 million. The Movaz RAYTM product line is a portfolio of WDM transport and reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexing (ROADM) solutions that economically scale from small metro core to regional networks as large as 2000 km. Movaz has an installed base of nearly US$150 million across 100 customers comprising telecommunications carriers, cable network providers, research and educational organizations, and government agencies. Movaz will provide a strong complement to ADVA’s fiber service platform solution portfolio and will significantly enhance ADVA’s presence in the Americas. Most of Movaz’s 150 employees will be integrated into ADVA’s North American organization and the Atlanta facility will become an additional ADVA distribution and engineering site.

LGB contract: Raytheon (Tucson, AZ) has been awarded the majority share of U.S. Air Force competitive contracts for Paveway II Laser Guided Bomb (LGB) components for fiscal year 2006. The $33.8 million in contracts calls for Raytheon to provide the Air Force with LBG computer control groups and air foil groups that transform “dumb” bombs into precision guided munitions. Work will be done primarily at Raytheon facilities in Tucson and in Dallas, TX.

IR weapons: Sofradir (Grenoble, France), a developer and manufacturer of advanced infrared detectors, will deliver 200 of its long-wave infrared detectors (Mercury LWIR) for integration in thermal infrared weapon sights by an undisclosed customer. Under the agreement, Sofradir will first customize and deliver 100 IR detectors, then produce an additional 100 units. The customer is a worldwide supplier, and the contract is valued at more than EUR 5 million (US$6.3 million).

NIMs research: Kent State University (Kent, OH) researchers are leading a team of scientists from eight institutions, who have been awarded a $5.5 million Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research to study self-assembled, soft optical negative index materials (NIMs). NIMs, which don’t exist naturally, are optical materials that have a negative index of refraction. Negative materials bend light in the opposite direction and can be formed as a flat surface, creating a perfect lens with super resolution and without distortion. Recently, scientists have learned how to create NIMs in the microwave and infrared spectra.

Board of directors: Edmund Optics (Barrington, NJ) has elected retired Lt. General Malcolm Ross O’Neill has been elected to the board of directors of Edmund Optics (Barrington, NJ). O’Neill brings an extensive technical and military background to Edmund’s board, as well as a distinguished career leading large technical organizations, executing major R&D efforts and managing multi-billion dollar acquisition programs. He recently retired from Lockheed Martin Corporation, where he served as vice president and chief technical officer.

Defense photonics: The Australian Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) and the University of Adelaide will jointly establish a center of expertise to boost defense research into photonics technologies and attract students to the study of photonics. According to Neil Bryans, DSTO’s deputy chief defense scientist, photonic technologies and their applications were of significant relevance to the organisation’s research programs and have potential for commercial applications. Seven students from the University of Adelaide have already been awarded the first Scholarships in Photonics by the DSTO. DSTO funding for the Centre of Expertise in Photonics includes AU$400,000 (US$295,000) for initial infrastructure and ongoing funding of $400,000 per year to support the University of Adelaide’s Chair in Photonics and two post doctoral research fellows. The center will be located at the University of Adelaide.

Mobile merger: Royal Philips Electronics (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) has completed the merger of Philips Mobile Display Systems with Toppoly Optoelectronics Corporation of Taiwan to form a mobile display company. The new company will go by the name TPO. The principal shareholders are Compal Electronics Inc. of Taiwan (25.1%) and Philips (17.5%). Toppoly has state-of-the-art production facilities with substantial production capacity in Taiwan and China for advanced mobile display technologies, such as low temperature polysilicon and active matrix organic light emitting diodes.

Medical merger: American Medical Systems (Minneapolis, MN) will pay $715 million for Laserscope (San Jose, CA), a provider of laser systems for the treatment of obstructive benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and for aesthetic applications. Under terms of the agreement, AMS was to commence a tender offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Laserscope at a price of $31/share in cash no later than June 14, 2006. The transaction is expected to close during the third quarter of 2006. Laserscope will become a wholly owned subsidiary of AMS. Laserscope’s aesthetics business is not considered a strategic fit for AMS so AMS is considering alternatives for that business, including divestiture.

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