LASER INDUSTRY REPORT

An established leader in color-management systems for major microdisplay technologies, Unaxis Optics (Balzers, Liechtenstein) acquired a strategic stake in Novalux (Sunnyvale, CA) as part of a $21.

Aug 1st, 2006

Unaxis Optics invests in Novalux

An established leader in color-management systems for major microdisplay technologies, Unaxis Optics (Balzers, Liechtenstein) acquired a strategic stake in Novalux (Sunnyvale, CA) as part of a $21.7 million financing round. In addition, Novalux and Unaxis Optics have entered into an agreement in which Novalux will license its RGB laser reference design and will supply Unaxis with Novalux extended-cavity surface-emitting-laser (NECSEL) semiconductor chips. According to Unaxis, the advantages provided by laser-based systems powered by NECSEL lasers include images with truer colors, greater brilliancy, and higher reliability.

GM invests in laser welding

Noble International (Warren, MI) entered into an advanced development agreement with General Motors (GM) related to laser welding of body structures for future vehicle programs. Under terms of the agreement, Noble will work with GM to design structural systems that improve vehicle performance, safety, and manufacturability while reducing cost and weight.

“By working together in the early stages of the vehicle design process, we can work with GM to maximize the benefits of laser-welded flat blanks and tubular structures,” said Steven Prue, Noble president. “We believe this agreement provides us with the opportunity to drive the growth of the market for laser-welded structural components.”

During the second quarter, Noble also embarked on four new laser-welding programs, involving 12 applications. Three of the four new programs were launched by Noble’s new facilities in Adelaide, Australia, and Stow, OH. Two of the new programs were launched at Noble’s Adelaide facility for GM’s Holden subsidiary.

Laser missile-seeker test completed

Raytheon successfully flight-tested its Mid Range Munition Chemical Energy guided projectile with semi-active laser seeker (SAL) at the U.S. Army’s Proving Grounds in Yuma, AZ. The round was fired from an M1A2 SEP (System Enhancement Program) tank at a moving target at a range of about 5.4 miles (8.7 km). The objective of the test was to evaluate functionality of a gun-fired semiactive laser seeker against a moving designated target at beyond line-of-sight ranges. The Mid Range Munitions guided projectile program is a key element of the U.S. Army FCS vehicles to dominate future battlefields at extended ranges in support of the lighter interim and objective forces now being deployed.

Five firms win DOE solid-state-lighting funds

The U.S. Department of Energy (Washington, D.C.) will provide $7 million for solid-state-lighting product development to five U.S. companies: Color Kinetics (Boston, MA), Eastman Kodak (Rochester, NY), General Electric Global Research (Niskayuna, NY), Osram Sylvania Development (Beverly, MA), and SRI International (Menlo Park, CA). Energy Department Secretary Samuel Bodman said solid-state lighting has the potential to more than double the efficiency of general lighting systems, reducing overall U.S. energy consumption.

Veeco/KOPTI collaborate on solid-state lighting

The Korea Photonics Technology Institute (KOPTI; Gwangju, South Korea), dedicated to technology development in photonic semiconductor epitaxial overgrowth for high-clarity LED and photonic communications, and Veeco Instruments (Woodbury, NY), manufacturer of metrology products used to measure at the nanoscale and process equipment tools that help create nanoscale devices, announced that they have entered into a collaborative relationship for the advancement of solid-state lighting.

As part of the agreement, Veeco will place its metal-organic chemical-vapor-deposition (MOCVD) tool used in the manufacture of LEDs, key technical experts, and other process support into KOPTI’s facility. The Veeco-KOPTI site will be used for research and development, training and demonstrations both for KOPTI’s R&D efforts as well other Korean LED manufacturers. In addition, Veeco and its LED customers would be permitted use of KOPTI’s LED characterization and chip fabrication facilities.

For more business news visit www.optoelectronicsreport.com.

Also in the news . . .

Laser manufacturers Koheras (Birkeroed, Denmark) and LG-Laser Technologies (Kleinostheim, Germany) are moving closer: LG-Laser Technologies has changed its name to Koheras. . . . Lighting developer LSI Industries (Cincinnati, OH) has acquired substantially all the assets of LED maker SACO Technologies (Montreal, QC, Canada). . . . Optech (Toronto, ON, Canada), a manufacturer of laser-based survey instruments, sold an ALTM 3100EA Airborne Laser Mapping System to Terrapoint Canada (Ottawa, ON, Canada). . . . Daylight Solutions (Poway, CA), manufacturer of miniaturized molecular detection and imaging devices based on its broadly tunable mid-IR lasers, closed $7.5 million in Series A financing. . . . Universal Laser Systems (Scottsdale, AZ) was awarded U.S. Patent 7,060,934 for its High Power Density Focusing Optics (HPDFO) that increases the power density of a CO2 laser beam.

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