News Briefs

Photon Forum

Science researchers, entrepreneurs and investors will gather next month in Cambridge, MA at Photon Forum 2006 to learn how science and finance can benefit each other in the rapidly expanding field of optics. The two-day conference brings optics and photonics researchers and technologists together with angel investors, venture capitalists, and others looking to invest in promising new technologies. The agenda balances academic and financial information with social and other networking opportunities that will enable investors, venders, intellectual-property scouts and entrepreneurs to meet each other face to face.

Keynote speakers at Photon Forum 2006 include Dr. Fred Leonberger, senior advisor at the MIT Center for Integrated Photonics Systems; Dr. Steve Eglash, a principal at Worldview Technology Partners, Inc.; and Dr. Michael Lebby, president of the Optoelectronics Industry Development Association. The event will be held April 24-26, 2006 at the Charles Hotel, adjacent to Harvard University. Register by April 7, 2006 to receive a free night at the Charles Hotel. Visit www.photonforum.com to register or for more details.

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.

Lincoln honored

Lincoln Laser (Phoenix, AZ) has been recognized by The Arizona Association of Industries as the Arizona Manufacturer of the Year for 2006 in the Small Business Category. The annual competition, open to all manufacturers statewide, is judged by an independent panel of industry peers in recognition of excellence in products manufactured, use of technology in the manufacturing process, steps taken to benefit the environment, management philosophy and entrepreneurial leadership within the organization. Lincoln Laser Company, a unanimous selection, joins Intel Corporation (Large Business) and ArmorWorks (Medium Business) as 2006 recipients of the award.

Buyout

Anteryon International B.V. has purchased all outstanding ordinary shares in Anteryon B.V from Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV. The ultimate shareholders of Anteryon International B.V. are Cosyma B.V., directed by Jan Holleman, Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV and the Anteryon Management. Anteryon International B.V. supports Anteryon’s current strategy and says the purchase is not expected to adversely affect employment or the terms of employment of the employees of Anteryon. Anteryon B.V. is active in the development, manufacture and marketing of professional optical components and assemblies for telecoms optical switches, industrial laser optics, miniature imaging sensors, optical display screens, substrates for DVD mastering, and other industrial precision glass components.

New distributor

Westplex (Randburg, South Africa) has been appointed the South African distributor for CCS, a Japan-based manufacturer of LED lighting for machine vision. With a range of over 200 types of highly professional machine vision lights, CCS says it can offer a lighting solution for every application. The CCS product line complements Westplex’s existing range of quality components for machine vision systems. The new CCS range includes direct and indirect line lights and ring lights; indirect flat lights and coaxial lights; direct bar lights; flat-ring lights, low-angle ring/square lights; dome lights; collimated coaxial lights; high luminosity spotlights; super-uniform spotlights; and micro-fibre heads with light source.

HeNe business

For the past eight years, Coherent (Santa Clara, CA) has been marketing Melles Griot (Carlsbad, CA) HeNe lasers under the Coherent name. Effective April 3rd, 2006 the current distribution agreement will end. Coherent’s current HeNe customers will be redirected to Melles Griot for their HeNe solutions. Melles Griot will honor current contracts and support for new and existing HeNe lasers going forward. The last HeNe shipments from Coherent are anticipated to be March 31, 2006.

“We’ve been happy to private label these products, however, we’ve decided to focus on non-HeNe products such as our direct diode, diode-pumped solid-state and optically pumped semiconductor products. These products, offering wavelengths from the UV, visible, to near-IR, continue to offer compelling solutions for our customers,” said Paul Sechrist, vice president, Components Business Management for Coherent.

Moscow office

Seeking to better serve its customers in Europe and Asia, machine vision supplier Imperx (Boca Raton, FL) has opened a software development and customer support office in Moscow, Russia, and staffed it with engineers from the Russian aerospace industry. The Moscow branch office employs five technical staffers, including general manager Oleg Margorin, who is also the senior software developer.

“These engineers have solid expertise and diverse experience, which allows them to take on the most challenging tasks,”says Imperx President and CEO Petko Dinev. “They all got their starts in the Russian space program, developing astronomy-based software for star tracking, mapping, imaging, and so forth.”

Raman supplier

Headwall Photonics’ (Fitchburg, MA) Raman Explorer OEM product was selected by Hamilton Sundstrand’s Applied Instrument Technologies (HS-AIT) group for use with the company’s new RPM line of process analyzers. Utilizing Headwall’s Raman Explorer as the spectral engine, HS-AIT has established new performance capabilities for in-line and at-line process monitoring instruments within the refining, chemical, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, and food and beverage industries. The Raman Explorer is based on Headwall’s patented retro-reflective, concentric design built specifically for Raman measurement and analysis.

Medical fiber

OmniGuide (Cambridge, MA) has become an official supplier of Partners Healthcare, following the initial purchase of OmniGuide fibers by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, part of Partners Healthcare. The OmniGuide Fiber, an optical fiber for flexibly guiding CO2 laser light that was developed at MIT, was recently used for completing the first-ever bronchial surgery (performed at BWH) for treatment of malignant airway obstruction using a CO2 laser delivered through a flexible bronchoscope. OmniGuide’s disruptive fiber technology allows, for the first time, the use of CO2 laser radiation through standard flexible bronchoscopy for precise ablation and removal of central airway obstruction, a condition impacting more than 30% of lung cancer patients.

New CFO

Ionatron (Tucson, AZ) appointed Kenneth Wallace as CFO. Wallace will assume his position with the company effective March 20, 2006. Wallace joins Ionatron with more than 17 years of progressive experience in accounting, financial reporting, financial planning and corporate development, gained from his experience in senior management level positions. He has significant working knowledge of financial processes and controls, as well as financial systems, financial process improvements and investor relations. Most recently, Wallace was CFO of Crosswalk, early-stage software and grid storage development company.

SEC settlement

Lumenis (Yokneam, Israel) reached an agreement in principle with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Division of Enforcement to settle a previously disclosed SEC investigation. As announced in February 2005, the company received notification from the SEC of its intention to recommend a civil proceeding in connection with the reporting of certain transactions reflected in Lumenis’ financial statements for 2002 and 2003 and a company announcement in 2004.

The SEC claims that Lumenis failed to provide correct details about the quarterly impact from the registration of certain transactions, which were the subject of the auditing committee’s report, thereby creating the misleading impression that the audit referred solely to the company incorrectly timing the registration of revenue. Some of the revenue should never have been registered at all; in other words, Lumenis inflated its revenue.

In the proposed settlement, Lumenis “will consent, without admitting or denying the allegations in a complaint to be filed by the SEC, to the entry of a permanent civil injunction against future violations of the antifraud, reporting, books and records, and internal control provisions of the federal securities laws and related SEC rules.”

No fines are being imposed under the proposed settlement. The proposed settlement also requires Lumenis to continue its cooperation with the SEC’s ongoing investigation of others. In addition, the SEC is revoking the registration of Lumenis’ securities; as a result, Lumenis shares cannot be quoted or traded in the United States until the company re-registers with the SEC.

More consolidation

Bookham (San Jose, CA) signed an agreement to acquire Avalon Photonics (Zurich, Switzerland), a supplier of singlemode and multimode vertical cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) chips, arrays, and subassemblies for sensing and datacom applications. Bookham will exchange approximately 765,000 shares of Bookham common stock valued at approximately $5.5 million on signing, and a potential additional 348,000 share earn-out based upon Avalon achieving certain revenue and production performance criteria over a two-year period. The transaction is expected to close in March subject to customary closing conditions.

"The acquisition of Avalon strengthens Bookham’s product portfolio by adding a new chip technology-VCSELs-to our already broad chip design. This technology will extend our product offerings in the datacom and sensing markets, areas we believe offer good growth opportunities," said Giorgio Anania, president and CEO of Bookham. "Over the next several months we will transfer Avalon’s manufacturing to the current Bookham facility, which should result in an improved utilization rate for this facility. In addition, we expect to leverage the newly combined manufacturing and technical strengths of both companies as we continue to expand our product base for the datacom and sensing markets."

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