Optics Industry Report

IMEC aims to push 193-nm litho to the limit
Although 193-nm lithography will be introduced for volume manufacturing of the 100-nm technology node, it has become clear that the technology must be pushed well beyond 100 nm, using next-generation step-and-scan systems equipped with higher-NA lenses. In order to continue the development work required to meet this objective, IMEC (Leuven, Belgium) has announced that it is extending its industrial affiliation program throughout 2002 and 2003. Work during the program extension aims to push 193-nm lithography to k1 factors of 0.35 to 0.3 for the critical lithography levels. Using the 0.75 NA of the lens, resolutions of 90 to 75 nm can be achieved. IMEC is inviting semiconductor manufacturers, material suppliers (resist, ARC), mask shops, and peripheral lithography-equipment suppliers to participate in the program.

Baylor College of Medicine evaluates UV scanner from LMG
Light Management Group (LMG; Norcross, GA) has entered into an agreement with the Baylor College of Medicine (Houston, TX) to supply an ultraviolet (UV) scanner and an acousto-optical deflector for evaluation in an application involving the UV photolysis of "caged" neurotransmitters at random sites in a neuronal specimen. The evaluation of the UV scanner's performance will be under the scrutiny of Peter Saggau, a specialist in advanced optical techniques for neuroscience research. Saggau's work focuses on the development of fast laser-scanning approaches including UV photolysis, confocal microscopy, and two-photon microscopy. Each of these approaches is aimed toward providing the improved spatio-temporal resolution required to answer fundamental questions about how single neurons process information in the brain.

Agilent donates $1 million in equipment to university laboratory
A new Agilent Technologies Communications Laboratory at Sonoma State University (Rohnert Park, CA) will provide graduate students in the university's masters degree program in Computer and Engineering Science and undergraduates in applied physics with $1 million in test and measurement equipment and the benefit of collaborative research and teaching opportunities between the university and Agilent Technologies (Palo Alto, CA). Agilent also announced donations to several other universities. "We were looking for programs that emphasize theory and hands-on, collaborative learning experiences for scientists and engineers who will invent tomorrow's communication technologies," said Kay Gilles, director of Agilent's university-relations program.

IQE partners with Austriamicrosystems
IQE Silicon Compounds, a wholly owned subsidiary of IQE (Cardiff, Wales) has signed a one-year contract to supply Austriamicrosystems AG (Unterpremstätten, Austria) with silicon germanium (SiGe) epitaxy services. As part of the collaboration, Austriamicrosystems has transferred its production-proven SiGe process knowledge to IQE, allowing IQE to act as an identical source of SiGe wafers for Austriamicrosystems. The compatibility of SiGe technology with silicon fabrication processes makes the material key to the next generation in communications devices.

Solus Micro Technologies opens U.K. facility
Solus Micro Technologies (Westlake Village, CA), a developer of tunable optical components for makers of DWDM (dense wavelength-division multiplexing) equipment, has opened a development facility in England. Located in Bracknell, about 20 miles from London, the new facility has a staff of five engineers who are focusing primarily on electronic integration of its compliant MEMS (CMEMS) tunable optical components with Solus' customers. Compliant MEMS technology combines elastomers with MEMS.

Also in the news . . .
Genoa Corp. (Fremont, CA) has begun commercial shipments of its linear optical amplifier. . . . Quantum Photonics Inc. (Jessup, MD) has completed its second round of funding, totaling $27.6 million. . . . Wave7 Optics Inc. (Alpharetta, GA) has raised a second round of funding totaling $23 million, bringing the company's total funds raised to $32 million. . . . Microvision (Bothell, WA) reported 2001 revenue in excess of $10.5 million and record revenue in the fourth quarter. The company also projected 125% to 150% revenue growth in 2002 with by far the strongest first quarter in the company's history. . . . Onetta Inc. (Sunnyvale, CA) has expanded sales initiatives for its intelligent optical engines into the European market by entering a distribution agreement with AMS Technologies AG, headquartered in Munich, Germany, with additional offices in Spain, Italy, France, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

More in Optics