Veeco Instruments (Plainview, NY), a maker of metrology tools for the semiconductor industry, is acquiring two companies—both of whose product lines fit in neatly with Veeco's, and one of whose capabilities will draw Veeco into the flourishing dense-wavelength-division-multiplexing (DWDM) industry. Veeco's own products include laser interferometers, optical and stylus profilers, package-inspection systems, x-ray fluorescence systems-all used in the manufacture of microelectronic components; some, such as the interferometers, are used throughout the optics industry. Veeco also sells a line of etch and deposition systems.
One firm to be bought by Veeco is OptiMag (San Diego, CA), a company founded in 1998 to develop and market optical defect-inspection equipment for the data-storage, thin-film magnetic-head industry. OptiMag's product performs an automated visual inspection of air-bearing surfaces and other components of thin-film heads with resolution down to 0.2 mm, identifying cracks, contamination, embedded metal, corrosion, pits, and other user-definable defects.
Veeco's other catch is Ion Tech (Fort Collins, CO), which makes ion-beam coating systems used to manufacture DWDM filters. With such rosy prospects for the DWDM market, many companies are eager to define themselves as part of it; Veeco joins this trend. "Ion Tech is well-positioned to capitalize on the tremendous growth opportunity in this [DWDM] market," says Edward Braun, chairman, president, and CEO of Veeco. Ion Tech has a current equipment backlog of $17.5 million, according to Gerald Isaacson, Ion Tech president.