News Briefs

Sept. 1, 2006
Optical coupling: OMRON Corporation (Tokyo, Japan), a provider of automation, sensing, and control technologies, has reached a preliminary agreement with NHK Spring Co. to acquire NHK Spring’s FTTH optical coupler business.

Optical coupling: OMRON Corporation (Tokyo, Japan), a provider of automation, sensing, and control technologies, has reached a preliminary agreement with NHK Spring Co. to acquire NHK Spring’s FTTH optical coupler business. NHK Spring’s optical coupler business includes the component micro-fabrication technologies and film deposition technologies required to produce high-performance quartz optical waveguides, plus the development, manufacture, and sale of optical coupler modules that incorporate these optical waveguides. OMRON intends to combine NHK Spring’s quartz optical waveguide technology with its own stacked polymer optical waveguide technology to create new high-performance, cost-competitive products that will reinforce its product lineup and expand its business in the FTTH optical coupler market. This agreement is also expected to help stimulate sales of OMRON’s optical switches and CWDM mux/demux modules.

New factory: TRUMPF (Farmington, CT) says the town of Farmington has approved its plan to construct a new laser facility. The laser factory is designed to consolidate the company’s local laser R&D, manufacturing, assembly, testing and sales. The facility will offer more than 90,000 square feet of usable space. The multi-million dollar project doubles TRUMPF’s current space allocated for laser research and manufacturing of gas and solid-state laser resonators. At the U.S. headquarters, the company maintains an R&D laboratory and operates the largest American facility for manufacturing of industrial lasers. The company expects begin site preparation and building in November and says construction will take approximately 12 to 14 months.

DWDM market: Infinera (Sunnyvale, CA) extended its lead in 10 Gb/s long-haul DWDM shipments in the second quarter of 2006 with a 29% global market share, according to data from independent analyst firm the Dell’Oro Group. Infinera co-founder and CEO Jagdeep Singh noted that in the second quarter Infinera announced several new customers including two nationwide carriers: Global Crossing and Broadwing.

As a new, private company, Infinera’s shipments are not broken out as a separate line item in Dell’Oro’s published tables, but are included in Dell’Oro’s totals. According to Dell’Oro data, the top three vendors in 10 Gb/s long-haul shipments in the second quarter were Infinera with a 29.4% market share, Nortel with 16.4% share, and Siemens with 11.5% share.

In the second quarter, the long-haul DWDM market showed significant revenue growth and outpaced total optical transport market growth for the fourth successive quarter, according to the Dell’Oro data. Dell’Oro reported that the long-haul DWDM market rose to $455 million in the second quarter, representing 41% year-over-year growth, while the total optical market rose by 9% to $2.28 billion in the quarter.

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RGB advance: Novalux (Sunnyvale, CA) says it has demonstrated its first Necsel laser arrays that emit over 750 mW of red light. The company says it has also met its 3-W power output target for its prototype blue and green arrays; doubling the power of previous devices. These developments put Novalux on track to produce RGB (red, green, blue) Necsel lasers for integration into laser-based projection TVs.

“Demonstrating 750-mW red Necsel arrays, along with meeting our 3-watt target for green and blue, are significant milestones in our product evolution,” said Greg Niven, Novalux vice president of marketing. “Our customers want all-Necsel RGB devices for incorporation into laser-based home theater systems. Ultimately, this means 3 watts per color. Now that we’ve met the target with green and blue, red isn’t far behind and will soon be at the same level. We’re on track to support the TV companies’ desires to be selling high-definition laser TVs featuring Necsel laser color for Christmas ’07.”

Laser funding: Synova (Lausanne, Switzerland), known for its water-jet-guided laser technology, has closed financing in the amount of 10 million Swiss francs (US $8.1 million) for the development of micromachining centers (MMCs) located in key high-tech regions around the world. The MMCs will have application labs capable of on-site water-jet-guided laser demonstrations. The new funds were put up largely by Swiss banks.

White LEDs: Ya Hsin Industrial Co. (Taipei, Taiwan) will become the first Taiwanese manufacturer to license white-LED technology for general lighting purposes from Osram, according to a pending agreement between the two companies, expected to be signed in September. Ya Hsin is a midsized supplier of built-to-order electronics devices in Taiwan. The company has recently branched out into optoelectronics manufacturing. It has maintained close business ties with lamp makers Osram and Philips by supplying them ballasts and power supplies for lamps.

Osram has previously licensed its LED technology to other Taiwanese manufacturers- including Everlight Electronics Co., Ltd., Lite-On Technology, and Harvatek-but only for use in backlight modules. With Ya Hsin, Osram will license the technology for general lighting products.

Industry watchers expected the day for LED lighting to become realized would arrive earlier than expected due to Osram’s attitude in opening technology licensing becoming more clear. They believed the licensing would help Ya Hsin lead its rivals in snatching up the scarce chances to break in LED general lighting industry.

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OCT pact: Zecotek Medical Systems Inc. (Frankfurt, Germany) has entered into an agreement with the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada) to jointly develop advanced light sources and optical systems for its future Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) medical imaging products. OCT is the latest product initiative by Zecotek to be directed at building its medical imaging division worldwide. Other medical imaging products under development by Zecotek include the micro-PET for pharmaceutical research, the PET-MRI and core enabling components for the PET-CT machines. Zecotek will be collaborating with UBC’s world class semiconductor light-source group, led by Tom Tiedje. Joining the expertise of Tiedje’s team with Zecotek’s know-how in lasers, fiber optics and optical systems, the collaboration anticipates significant innovation and radical performance improvements in OCT systems, including higher resolution, better depth of penetration and improved scan rate. According to Zecotek, the market for OCT is expected to reach $250 million by 2010.

Midwest operations: Following the recent filing of its IPO, IPG Photonics (Oxford, MA) is opening a new sales and service office in the Detroit area along with the appointment of Michael Klos, an experienced industry veteran, as the Midwest operations manager.

With 27 years of experience in laser and application technology, Klos has an extensive background in all aspects of beam delivery. His expertise extends to cutting and welding heads, auto-focus systems, seam tracking, fiber delivery, and beam analysis.

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