News Briefs

Aug. 1, 2006
Moving up: Holger Schlueter has been appointed as vice president, laser for Trumpf Inc.

Moving up: Holger Schlueter has been appointed as vice president, laser for Trumpf Inc. (Farmington, CT). He will oversee all laser-related manufacturing, research, and development. Laser Assembly Manager Steve Tower, Laser Development Manager Jochen Deile, and Laser Marking Systems Product Manager Peter Grollman will report directly to Schlueter. Most recently, Schlueter was vice president and general manager of Trumpf Photonics, a manufacturer of high-power diode laser sources near Princeton, NJ. He has worked with high-power lasers for industrial applications since 1993 and holds several patents in the field of laser resonators and laser applications.

Schlueter is slated to participate in the 2007 Laser and Photonics Marketplace Seminar, to be held January 22, 2007 during Photonics West in San Jose, CA. Schlueter will give a presentation on “The Case for Disk Lasers: Applications and Market Opportunities.” For more information, go to

Optical imaging: Tamron Co. (Saitama, Japan) and New Scale Technologies Inc. (Victor, NY) have signed a license agreement to use New Scale’s patented SQUIGGLE motors in Tamron’s optical imaging assemblies, which include digital still cameras, camcorders, and mobile phone cameras. Tamron is a publicly traded firm and a leading manufacturer of high-precision optics. New Scale was founded in 2002 and manufactures miniature ceramic motors that enable smaller products.

Display developers: Microvision (Redmond, WA) has entered into a development agreement with a laser supplier for the design and development of green laser systems for its MEMS-based laser-scanning projection systems. For confidentiality reasons, the name of the laser supplier was not disclosed. Under the agreement, Microvision will fund several design and development activities undertaken by the laser OEM with the objective to develop an improved green solid-state laser light source to be used in scanning applications designed and manufactured by or for Microvision. Microvision expects this development effort to yield prototype devices suitable for integration into its rapidly evolving, highly miniaturized Integrated Photonics Module device architecture. Microvision is focusing on three primary applications for IPM: automotive and aero heads-up display applications, personal projection display applications, and personal color eyewear.

Optical inspection: Siemens Automation and Drives Group (Nurnberg, Germany) acquired Opto-Control Elektronik Prüfsysteme GmbH (Bochum, Germany), effective July 5. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The purchase adds high-precision automatic optical inspection (AOI) systems to its Siplace surface-mount technology business, Siemens said. Opto-Control’s inspection systems are fully automated and use three-dimensional sensor technology to detect any solder or placement flaws. Opto-Control will be integrated into the Optical Solutions unit of A&D’s Electronics Assembly Systems Division.

Public takeover: The Qioptiq Group (Düsseldorf, Germany), a manufacturer of high-precision optical components and modules for military and commercial applications, announced its intention to launch a public takeover offer to acquire the outstanding shares of LINOS AG. The price offered will be EUR 16.00/share, equating to a 44% premium on the 3-month weighted average of EUR 11.10. LINOS is a manufacturer of sophisticated optical systems operating on a global scale. The acquisition will be made by the ultimate holding company of the Qioptiq Group via Optco Akquisitions GmbH, a company specifically provided for this acquisition. LINOS designs, develops and produces a range of equipment for growth markets such as lasers, measurement technology, medicine, biotechnology and semiconductors.

DPSS sales: Powerlase (Crawley, England) announced that LG Electronics is the first customer for its new acousto-optic switched DPSS laser. It is believed that the lasers are to be used in the manufacture of plasma display panels. The Starlase AO8 apparently offers 800 W of average power in a high-pulse regime, and Powerlase claims that it is particularly suited to applications that require accurate laser pulses in high volume production situations, such as PCB production, microelectronics, electronics packaging, machine tools and particularly plasma display panel manufacture. The laser is also targeted to the ablation of Indium Tin Oxide and the semiconductor industry.

Quantum cascade: Cascade Technologies (Stirling, Scotland) has secured an additional £2.5million (US$4.7 million) of funding to develop further market opportunities. The company specializes in the application of quantum cascade lasers (QCLs). Braveheart Ventures led the funding round by investing £1million (US$1.9 million), alongside the Scottish Enterprise Scottish Co-investment Fund. Bank of Scotland Corporate’s Growth Equity team and Partnerships UK both invested £750,000 (US$$1.4 million), with accountants Ernst and Young acting as advisors in the deal. Cascade Technologies developed and patented a real-time technology for the detection of gas, emissions and explosives using a system based on QCLs. The company recently moved from Strathclyde University, where its technology was developed as part of a research project in 2002, to a new office and development facility in Stirling University Innovation Park.

Optical crystals: Nikon Corporation (Tokyo, Japan) is collaborating with Oxide Corporation (Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan) in the field of optical single crystals. According to the companies, this new relationship will enable Nikon to utilize the optical single crystals developed by Oxide Corporation in Nikon products. With this collaboration, the technologies of both companies will be merged to provide the market with value-added optical crystals and their related products. To further the success of this collaboration, Nikon has also made equity investment in Oxide Corporation.

Next-gen Internet: Internet2 (Ann Arbor, MI) and Infinera (Sunnyvale, CA) signed a wide-ranging agreement that will support the development of next-generation Internet technology with more intelligence, bandwidth and capabilities, including the testing and deployment of 40 to 100 Gbps services. Infinera has developed the Infinera DTN, the first optical system based on large-scale photonic integrated circuits, with 50 optical components on a microchip smaller than a human fingernail.

Through the agreement, Internet2 and Infinera plan to collaborate to pursue development projects that will drive leading edge network capability for the national research and academic community; make new services and applications available to the worldwide community of Internet users; and help to make possible revolutionary Internet applications. Key areas of technology development will include lab and network-wide tests of super-lambda services including 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet service; advanced network service management and delivery leveraging GMPLS technology; and advanced virtual private network (VPN) services based on Layer One VPNs.

Seed funding: Light Blue Optics (Cambridge, England) closed a US$2.5 million seed funding round. 3i plc, the FTSE 100 listed global venture capital firm, led the round, which also included investment from NESTA, the Cambridge Capital Group, and local business angels. Founded in 2004, Light Blue Optics has developed a novel, patented laser projection technology, PVPro, using laser light sources and diffractive techniques.

SBIR OLED: Universal Display Corporation (Ewing, NJ) has been awarded two new Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I grants for $100,000 each from the U.S. Department of Energy for the enhancement of white OLED lighting technology using the company’s PHOLED technology and materials. In the first grant, Universal Display will team with its research partners at the University of Michigan and the University of Southern California to demonstrate a simplified path to a white OLED lighting device. The second grant, also in conjunction with the University of Michigan researchers, aims to increase WOLED device efficiency.

ESO office: ESO, the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere, is taking an important step towards the realisation of a new, giant telescope for Europe’s astronomers, by creating the ESO Extremely Large Telescope Project Office. It will be headed by Jason Spyromilio, formerly La Silla Paranal Observatory director. The ESO ELT Project Office, which is part of the ESO Telescope Systems Division, will work closely with experts from both ESO and the European scientific community, represented in the ELT Science and Engineering Working Group and in a Standing Review Committee established by the ESO Council. A baseline design is to be presented to the ESO Council at the end of 2006. The plan is a telescope with a primary mirror between 30 and 60 meters in diameter and a financial envelope of about 750 million Euros.

Licensing pact: Unaxis Optics (Balzers, Liechtenstein), a manufacturer of projection display components, recently signed a non-exclusive technology license agreement for Vikuiti TIR Prisms with 3M Precision Optics. According to the companies, the Vikuiti TIR Prism is an important component in the design of compact light engines employing Texas Instruments DLP Technology in both front and rear-screen projection displays. Operationally, light enters and travels through the prism to illuminate the digital micromirror device (DMD) that is at the heart of the DLP technology. The image reflected off the DMD then passes through the TIR prism and is imaged onto the screen with the projection lens.

NAVAIR contract: Electrophysics (Fairfield, NJ), a provider of infrared imaging solutions, has been awarded a second contract by NAVAIR Weapons Division, China Lake, for seven Emerald MWIR-InSb infrared cameras with an option to purchase one additional, to total eight. The cameras will be integrated into NAVAIR’s MANPAD program, designed specifically for force protection. NAVAIR provides the operating forces of the Navy and Marine Corps, other activities of the U.S. Armed Forces, and foreign allies with effective and affordable integrated warfare systems and life-cycle support to ensure battle space dominance.

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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