News Briefs

Sept. 15, 2006
Intel sells components business: Cortina Systems Inc. (Sunnyvale, CA) and Intel Corporation (Santa Clara, CA) have completed the sale of product lines and associated assets of Intel’s optical-networking components business to Cortina.

Intel sells components business: Cortina Systems Inc. (Sunnyvale, CA) and Intel Corporation (Santa Clara, CA) have completed the sale of product lines and associated assets of Intel’s optical-networking components business to Cortina. The acquisition will give Cortina a large portfolio of enterprise and infrastructure communications products and will position it to become a leading communications semiconductor company. The sale will enable Intel to focus its investments on its core communications and embedded businesses, including Intel Architecture and network processors, modular communications platforms, and optical modules. Intel’s components business includes employees involved in a variety of functions, including engineering, operations, and marketing. The two companies will be working together during the coming months to complete a smooth transition in order to continue to offer high-quality service and support to customers.

Preferred laser mouse supplier: Since 2005, U-L-M photonics GmbH (Ulm, Germany) has been the preferred laser technology supplier for the Microsoft Wireless Laser Mouse 6000 and Wireless Notebook Laser Mouse 6000. Having sold more than 2.5 million mice in the past months, the relationship will continue, as Microsoft has again chosen U-L-M photonics as the supplier for the succeeding product family. The laser mouse has long battery life, great precision, improved responsiveness, and smoother tracking.

Optical focus contract: Optikos Corporation (Cambridge, MA), a manufacturer of equipment for the measurement of optical image quality, was awarded a contract from ITT Corporation’s System Division (Colorado Springs, CO) for the design and production of an Optical Focus Verification System (OFVS) for Telescope-to-Film and Telescope-to-CCD Camera Image Plane Alignment. The contract is in support of the 45th U.S. Air Force Space Wing operations at the Eastern Range, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS). The OFVS will be used on five large-aperture launch tracking telescopes which support all launches from Cape Canaveral including the Space Shuttle. Stephen D. Fantone, Optikos’s founder and president said, “Optikos’s multidisciplinary approach to this complex and challenging measurement requirement has reached its first milestone with the success of the proof-of-principle demonstration.”

Specialty fiber agreement: Fiberguide Industries (Stirling, NJ), a manufacturer of specialty optical fibers and OEM assemblies, entered into an exclusive distributor agreement with AMS Technologies AG (Munich, Germany), a technology based distributor representing high tech solutions to customers in Europe. Ted Rich, founder and president of Fiberguide states: “This is a major step for Fiberguide being able to further respond to our European customer’s needs on a more local level. We are excited and look forward to working with a very technical and professional partner as AMS Technologies to open new channels for Fiberguide and simplifying the supply chain to serve our customers more effectively.”

FITEL camera aboard Atlantis: Logging its third NASA space mission with the recent launch of the Atlantis shuttle, FITEL’s (Peachtree City, GA) 1480 nm laser is a key component in the Neptec (Ottawa, ON, Canada) camera system used onboard to scan critical areas for exterior damage (see OER, July 15, 2005, p. 2). The strength of the optical laser in the system enables the capture of exacting 3-D data images of the shuttle’s surface from up to 4 m away in harsh glare and intermittent lighting conditions. The FITEL laser is manufactured by Furukawa Electric Co. “The FITEL laser diode module is a critical component in the Laser Camera System and continues to meet NASA’s exacting standards for performance in the demanding environment of space,” said Iain Christie, vice president of research and development at Neptec.

RPTV agreement: Spire Corporation (Bedford, MA) announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Bandwidth Semiconductor (Hudson, NH), entered into a five-year manufacturing agreement in which it will be the exclusive supplier of semiconductor wafers to Principia Lightworks (Woodland Hills, CA), enabling Principia to begin high-volume production of its patented electron-beam-pumped vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (eVCSEL) as a light source for projection display applications, including rear-projection consumer television (RPTV). Under the terms of this agreement, Bandwidth will be producing III/V and II/VI wafers for Principia with full production expected to start in mid 2007. During the first three years of the agreement, Bandwidth anticipates revenues in excess of $16 million.

Pollution-monitoring technology: Cascade Technologies (Stirling, Scotland) secured a technology licensing deal with British Petroleum (BP) valued in excess of $7.4 million (£4 million) to the company over the next three years. BP Marine, a subsidiary of the energy giant, has invested in Cascade for access to their quantum cascade laser (QCL) system for measuring greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide. The deal with BP was struck in response to the introduction of sulphur emission control areas (SECAs), which set limits on sulphur oxide emissions from ship exhausts. Furthermore, recent maritime legislation limits the emissions of oxides of nitrogen from ship engines, as well as deliberate emissions of ozone-depleting substances.

Flexible display project: Cambridge Display Technology (CDT; Cambridge, UK), developer of polymer light emitting diode (P-OLED) technology, has begun collaborative work on a metal deposition project that is expected to be important in the field of flexible displays. The process deposits high conductivity, very thin metal tracks onto glass and plastic substrates using lasers and is seen as an alternative to conventional inkjet printing methods, involves the use of lasers to expose selected material. Flexible displays are expected to require a technology such as this for the formation of the thin-film transistor (TFT) backplane and the process under development would be applicable to plasma and LCD displays and even organic photovoltaics as well as P-OLEDs.

Applied Materials goes solar: Applied Materials (Santa Clara, CA), provider of equipment and services for manufacturing semiconductors and flat-panel displays, launched its strategy to enter the rapidly growing solar photovoltaic (PV) equipment market. They will provide a combination of manufacturing tools, together with technology and process innovations from the flat panel and semiconductor industries, that are expected to enable customers to increase conversion efficiency and yields, helping to lower the overall cost per watt for solar electricity users. The overall solar equipment market is expected to grow from approximately $1 billion in 2006 to more than $3 billion in 2010, according to industry estimates that do not include additional opportunities for service-related growth.

Spectroscopy patent: Centice Corporation (Morrisville, NC), provider of next-generation sensor technology, has expanded its patent portfolio with the recent award of “Methods and systems for static multimode multiplex spectroscopy (MMS).” This patent (US Patent No. 7,092,101) describes different methods and systems for making spectral measurements on weak diffuse sources while maintaining high spectral resolution. “This patent award is an important milestone for Centice as we continue to strengthen the company’s intellectual property position,” said Ray W. Swanson, President and CEO. Centice is the exclusive licensee of MMS spectroscopy technology first developed at Duke University under NIH and DARPA grants for tissue spectroscopy and spectroscopic imaging. In July 2006, Centice won an R&D100 award for its Raman Spectrometer based on the patented MMS technology.

Another NeoPhotonics acquisition: NeoPhotonics (San Jose, CA), a supplier of fiberoptic component and module solutions for long haul, metro, and FTTX networks, significantly expanded its product line for high-capacity enterprise networks through the acquisition of BeamExpress (Sunnyvale, CA). BeamExpress currently offers an extensive line of multimode transceivers for enterprise and storage applications for 10 Gb/s systems, with the capability to extend this technology to next-generation applications requiring 40 Gb/s data rates and beyond. BeamExpress represents an important complement to three other recent (June 2006) strategic acquisitions: LightConnect, Inc., OpTun, Inc., and patents concerning micro electro-mechanical devices from MEMX Corp. The acquisition of BeamExpress, Inc. is independent and unrelated to the BeamExpress SA entity of Lausanne, Switzerland, which will continue to operate as an independent company.

Expanded detector distribution: SensL (Cork, Ireland), a provider of low-light photon detection sensors and modules for applications ranging from medical diagnostics and analysis to nuclear physics and environmental protection, expanded its distributor network to support worldwide growth in demand. New distributors include Tokyo Instruments (Japan), GMP SA (Switzerland), UNIFIBRE s.r.l. (Italy), LASERTechnology, S.L. (Spain), Gamble Technologies Ltd. (Canada), SeongKyeong Photonics (Korea), Lahat Technologies Ltd. (Israel), and Shanghai Weining Technology Development Co. (China).

ISO test capability: Bookham (Caswell, UK), a provider of optical components, modules and subsystems, achieved the International Standard ISO 17025 for testing and calibration. The achievement means that the company’s reliability and qualification testing facilities can now provide independent test data on Bookham products and can offer an independent testing service to other companies. To achieve the standard, Bookham established a separate service-with its own organization and line management-that oversees the production and documentation of a quality management system and procedures embracing the management and technical requirements that comprise the standard.

Optics promotion: CVI (Albuquerque, NM) promoted Lynore Abbott to the position of marketing director. She has been with the company since 2004 as marketing communications manager. As marketing director, Abbott will be responsible for managing marketing activities for North America and coordinating worldwide marketing activities in Europe and Asia. She will be responsible for growing brand leadership, integrating new capabilities into the product mix, and facilitating customer access to CVI’s worldwide capabilities.

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 [email protected].

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