LASER INDUSTRY REPORT

A new report from Strategies Unlimited (Mountain View, CA; a PennWell company) says that fiber lasers are set to capture a large share of the $2 billion industrial-laser market from conventional laser technologies, even in the prominent kilowatt-class laser market.

Fiber lasers will dominate by 2010

A new report from Strategies Unlimited (Mountain View, CA; a PennWell company) says that fiber lasers are set to capture a large share of the $2 billion industrial-laser market from conventional laser technologies, even in the prominent kilowatt-class laser market. Sales of fiber lasers are expected to have unusually strong compound annual growth of more than 35% through 2010 in an industrial laser market that will grow just 9% per year over the same period. Fiber-laser suppliers are expected to seize market share from solid-state and other laser sales in several key laser applications that will see steady growth in the next few years.

Cymer sees record Q1

Shares of excimer-laser vendor Cymer hit a 52-week high in mid-April following the company’s announcement of a 283% year-over-year increase in net income for the first quarter of FY2006 (ended March 31). Cymer reported net income of $20.6 million on revenues of $127 million for the quarter, compared to net income of $5.4 million on revenues of $85 million for the same quarter in 2005.

“The growth opportunities we see for semiconductor equipment in general and for lithography in particular are based on strong continuing demand for consumer electronics,” said Bob Akins, Cymer CEO.

Alfalight gets high-power DARPA funding

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded Alfalight (Madison, WI) $4.7 million in funding from the agency’s 18-month effort-Architecture for Diode High Energy Laser Systems (ADHELS)-that aims to produce a multikilowatt diode-laser system. Alfalight will develop devices capable of generating near-diffraction-limited output power targeted at 50 W per emitter, ideal building blocks to combine into a multikilowatt, high-quality direct-diode laser. The effort has an additional nine-month follow-on option, which could result in a total potential value of $6.1 million for Alfalight.

SETI commercializes LEDs

A group led by Asif Khan at the University of South Carolina (USC; Columbia, SC) has worked at pushing light-emitting-diode (LED) wavelengths down well into the 200 nm range. Now a nearby company has commercialized the technology after making its own improvements, including advances in materials and device technology. While not a spinoff of the group at USC, Sensor Electronic Technology (SETI; Columbia, SC) does have Khan as one of its principals.

The company’s deep-UV III-nitride-based LEDs arange from 365 down to 250 nm in wavelength. “No similar electronic light source existed before, especially for the deep-UV range, which is extremely important for analytical equipment and systems and biosensors,” said Yuri Bilenko, SETI’s optoelectronic products manager.

PhlatLight gets Luminus $38 million in funding

Luminus Devices (Woburn, MA) has closed approximately $38 million in new venture financing to expand capacity and its PhlatLight product line. PhlatLight technology is a new type of light-emitting-diode (LED) source based on photonic-lattice structures. The LED market is growing to fill needs for backlighting in displays, as well as general illumination; Luminus is aiming at this large market.

OSRAM/DILAS partner to set record

Achieved in concert with laser specialists DILAS Diodenlaser (Mainz, Germany), OSRAM Opto Semiconductors (San Jose, CA), developer of infrared laser products and technology, says its laser bars have set a new world efficiency record of 808 nm at an optical output of 120 W. The two companies have combined their technology expertise as part of the BRILASI (Brilliant High-Power Laser Diodes for Industrial Applications) research project.

For more business news visit www.optoelectronicsreport.com.

Also in the news . . .

Ciba Specialty Chemicals is collaborating with Novaled (Dresden, Germany) to produce the Novaled organic dopant and transport materials that will be used in Novaled’s proprietary OLED devices to enable high power efficiency. . . . Fujitsu and Mitsui & Co. (both in Tokyo, Japan) have established a new optical device venture, QD Laser, to further develop and commercialize quantum dot laser technology. . . . Coherent (Santa Clara, CA) was named to Business Ethics Magazine’s “100 Best Corporate Citizens” list for the second consecutive year. . . . Melles Griot (Carlsbad, CA) is now selling its complete line of lasers and laser accessories online at www.mellesgriot.com. . . . BAE Systems (Nashua, NH) was awarded a $96.1 million contract to provide laser-guided rockets for the U.S. Army’s Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System II (APKWS II) program. . . . The Georgia Institute of Technology’s Center for Organic Photonics and Electronics (COPE) and Solvay (Brussels, Belgium) signed a three-year, $3 million deal for OLED research. . . . Powerlase (Crawley, England) will increase production capacity of its diode-pumped solid-state lasers threefold during 2006.

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