Laser Industry Report

Sept. 1, 2002
Universal Display (Ewing, NJ) has been awarded two $100,000 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contracts by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for general lighting applications.

Universal Display awarded general lighting contracts

Universal Display (Ewing, NJ) has been awarded two $100,000 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contracts by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for general lighting applications. One SBIR program, "White Illumination Sources Using Striped Phosphorescent OLEDs," focuses on demonstrating a broadband white-light source built on a flexible plastic substrate that consists of a series of highly efficient red, green and blue PHOLED stripes that combine to emit white light. A second SBIR program, "Monomer-Excimer Phosphorescent OLEDs for General Lighting," focuses on demonstrating an innovative PHOLED structure that utilizes the combined monomer and excimer excited states to achieve high-quality, efficient white emission.

Spectra-Physics changes telecom priorities

With forecasts for the return of the telecom market being pushed out yet again to late 2003/early 2004, Spectra-Physics (Mountain View, CA) has joined the ranks of laser companies opting to refocus their resources on more profitable markets and applications. Rumors at Semicon West had Spectra-Physics completely exiting the telecom business; however, according to Steve Sheng, president of Spectra-Physics Laser Division, while there is no longer a dedicated telecom group and telecom is no longer part of the company's primary focus, Spectra-Physics is not abandoning its telecom customers. "We did not exit the telecom market," he said. "We have rearranged our focus to treat telecom as one of the many markets we serve. We no longer have a separate business unit focused on telecom to develop custom-specific devices, but there are many products in our base product line that are already being used or designed into telecom devices, and we are going to continue to support this." Sheng declined to say how many employees this business decision will affect, but he did say that many of the people in the telecom group are being absorbed into other parts of the company.

CyOptics to provide foundry for Zia Laser

CyOptics (Waltham, MA), a provider of indium phosphide-based active optical components, has signed an agreement to provide indium phosphide foundry services to Zia Laser (Albuquerque, NM). CyOptics will collaborate with Zia Laser to develop the processes required to develope products using 1550-nm tunable gain lasers and 1310-nm uncooled lasers based on quantum-dot technology. Zia Laser will sell to CyOptics 1310-nm lasers. The first 1310-nm devices should be completed and packaged by the end of this year.

Cymer reports a gain

Net income at Cymer (San Diego, CA), rose 35% to $6.55 million for the second quarter, ending June 30 over net income of $4.83 million for the second quarter of 2001, and total revenue for the second quarter of 2002 climbed 5% over the same period last year to $70.41 million. Second-quarter net income grew 60% over the $4.09 million, recorded in the first quarter of 2002 and total revenue for the second quarter increased 19% over the $61.98 million of revenue posted in the first quarter. Cymer CEO Bob Akins attributed the improvement primarily to tight cost control along with 6% growth in the four-quarter average share of installed Cymer light sources to 88%, "principally as a result of competitive wins in Japan and Korea."

LIMO expands laser-diode manufacturing

At its tenth company anniversary LIMO (Dortmund, Germany) is opening a new manufacturing facility for high-power diode lasers at the industrial estate Dortmund-Wickede-Süd, close to the international airport. The new building has two clean-room areas equipped with new production technology. The expansion adds 500 m2 for series production and 400 m2/ for R&D. New measurement laboratories for quality control allow fast processing, even for very complex measurement tasks in optics and laser technology.

Hassaun A. Jones-Bey

Also in the news . . .

Bob Buzzard, one of the 1972 founders of Lexel Lasers, has agreed to serve as technical consultant to Cambridge Lasers Laboratories (Fremont, CA). Buzzard was the physicist responsible for Lexel's pioneering metal ceramic plasma tube design and vacuum hard seal technology. He left Lexel in 1986 after its acquisition by Cooper LaserSonics. Cambridge recently acquired substantial portions of Lexel Laser assets, including the bulk of the company's manufacturing equipment, the parts inventory, and all of the intellectual property. . . . Coherent (Santa Clara, CA) announced financial results for its third fiscal quarter, posting sales of $95.9 million and an after-tax loss of $81.1 million ($2.81/share), including impairment charges and a gain on discontinued operations. These results compare to the immediately preceding quarter's results of $98.6 million sales and $3.0 million income from continuing operations ($0.10 per share).

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