News Briefs

Final phase

JDSU (San Jose, CA) has entered a definitive agreement to sell its manufacturing operations located in Ottawa, Canada to Fabrinet (San Francisco, CA), its contract manufacturing partner. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of FY06. Upon close, Fabrinet will manage ongoing production and the Asian transfer activities currently performed by the Ottawa site. Non-manufacturing activities at the Ottawa site are unaffected by this agreement.

“This transaction marks the final phase of our plan to transition all Optical Communications assembly manufacturing to Asia,” said Debbie Shoquist, vice president of global operations for JDSU. “We believe that with additional resources from Fabrinet and a cohesive transfer team, we will ensure a smooth transition for our employees and our customers.”

New CEO

Research Electro-Optics (Boulder, CO), a manufacturer of optical components and optical assemblies for the defense/aerospace, semiconductor, telecom, and laser markets, appointed Terry Moshier as its new president and CEO. He replaces Robert Knollenberg, founder of Research Electro-Optics, who will continue as chairman of the company.

Distribution deal

Polatis (Boston, MA) has signed a distribution agreement with Marubun to expand its presence in Japan. Under terms of the agreement, the Polatis line of optical switches will be available to Marubun’s network of sales channels for the Japanese telecommunications market. Marubun will be distributing a number of products in the Polatis family of switches for local or remote network reconfiguration.

Fiber-laser partners

IPG Photonics (Oxford, MA) and the Fraunhofer Center for Coatings and Laser Applications (Plymouth, MI) have formed an alliance to develop new welding, cutting, and brazing applications for the automotive, aerospace, and oilfield industries using IPG’s kilowatt fiber lasers and Fraunhofer’s applications expertise. Using a 5-kW fiber laser acquired from IPG, Fraunhofer will demonstrate new laser applications at the 14th Annual Automotive Laser Application Workshop, on Fraunhofer Day, March 28, 2006.

“Given that Detroit has such a high concentration of automotive and machine companies, IPG’s partnership with Fraunhofer gives us a presence in Detroit to accelerate welding and cutting application development, and to support and service our customers” said Bill Shiner, director of industrial market development at IPG.

Ink-jet patent

Universal Display Corporation (UDC; Ewing, NJ) has been awarded a significant patent covering ink-jet printing of phosphorescent OLED displays, US patent #6,982,179, “Structure and Method of Fabricating Organic Devices.” Universal Display is developing new technologies for the direct printing of PHOLED materials by ink-jet printing and other low-cost manufacturing techniques. The company’s new broad patent capitalizes on ink-jet printing’s potential to become a low-cost manufacturing process, opening an additional avenue for the future mass production of large-area OLED displays.

Lithography pact

Cymer (San Diego, CA) is collaborating with KLA-Tencor (San Jose, CA) to provide details of light source spectra to be incorporated into KLA-Tencor’s industry-standard PROLITH lithography optimization tool. In addition, the companies expect to continue to jointly develop enhancements to this capability for future PROLITH revisions. Through this collaboration, Cymer and KLA-Tencor plan to leverage their respective expertise to deliver increased accuracy, giving users immediate access to a more accurate representation of the complete optical lithography process. As a result, customers can optimize their lithography processes much faster, thus reducing their time-to-production and maximizing overall return on investment.

“The effect of laser bandwidth on critical dimensions becomes more significant with higher numerical apertures and shrinking process windows. As these effects become progressively greater, we see a growing need to provide a more accurate representation of the light source spectrum available to our customers,” said Edward Charrier, general manager, Process Analysis Division, KLA-Tencor. “By leveraging Cymer’s laser spectral data and expertise, we can offer customers a truly comprehensive representation of the complete optical lithography process, and provide an added level of accuracy.”

Japanese distributor

Ondax (Monrovia, CA), a manufacturer of volume holographic gratings for diode-pumped solid-state lasers, sensing, RGB sources, medical, spectroscopy, frequency doubling, range finding, Rb lasers, and metrology has reached an agreement with T.E.M. in Japan. T.E.M. will be responsible for the promotion and distribution of Ondax’s PowerLocker VHGs for laser stabilization.

Patent portfolio

Cambridge Display Technology (CDT; Cambridge, England) has acquired an important portfolio of patent rights from Maxdem Inc. The portfolio includes five US patent applications and their foreign equivalents relating to new light emitting polymer compositions and applications. The deal also includes a license to a large number of patents / applications relating to polyphenylene polymers and other polymer compositions and purification methods. These are expected to be useful in future materials improvements. The acquisition will also strengthen what CDT believes to be its already dominant patent position in solution processable OLED materials and devices.

Included in the acquisition from Maxdem is a patent application for the invention of phosphorescent compositions containing a critical class of polymer materials in combination with metals/metal ions. CDT believes this provides a fundamental position in the use of conjugated polymers to achieve high efficiency phosphorescent emission in solution processable devices, whether for ink jet printing or any other means of solution processing.

$20 million

Konarka Technologies (Lowell, MA), which is developing “power plastic” that converts light to energy, raised $20 million in venture capital financing. The financing was led by 3i, a venture capital and private equity firm. Konarka plans to use this round of funding to accelerate further growth, continue to execute on its global partnering strategy and to support ongoing research and development efforts. Concurrent with the funding, Marko Maschek, partner with 3i, and Michael Ware, managing director at Advanced Capital Markets representing Good Energies, have joined Konarka’s Board of Directors.

NIF award

Adaptive Optics Associates, a subsidiary of Metrologic Instruments (Blackwood, NJ) received $6.8 million of additional funding from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under its previously announced Fixed Priced subcontracts that have a total potential value of $17.3 million. The additional funding authorizes deliveries of 16 input sensor packages throughout 2006, 128 light source launchers throughout 2006 and 68 in the first quarter of 2007, and 18 output sensor packages throughout 2006 and 6 in the first quarter of 2007, for use on the National Ignition Facility project.


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