OPTICS INDUSTRY REPORT

Varioptic (Lyon, France), the liquid-lens company, and Shenzhen Akkord Electronics (Shenzhen, China), an OEM for leading electronics brand names in Europe, launched the first 1.3- and 2-megapixel liquid-lens variable-focus webcams called the S1300 and S2000 AF SnakeCams.

Sep 1st, 2008

Liquid lens deployed in webcams

Varioptic (Lyon, France), the liquid-lens company, and Shenzhen Akkord Electronics (Shenzhen, China), an OEM for leading electronics brand names in Europe, launched the first 1.3- and 2-megapixel liquid-lens variable-focus webcams called the S1300 and S2000 AF SnakeCams. These cameras or webcams feature a high-quality CMOS sensor integrating Varioptic’s variable-focus liquid lens, the Arctic 416. “By choosing Varioptic’s liquid lens over other autofocus actuators, we are able to supply our customers with an innovative, high-performance, low-power, autofocus solution with no moving parts, requiring very little power, and with a very fast response time,” said Tian Xiaofeng, general manager of Shenzhen Akkord Electronics.

Microscope measures nuclear fuel particles

Hinds Instruments (Hillsboro, OR), a supplier of photoelastic modulators (PEMs), announced that the Institute for Transuranium Elements (Karlsruhe, Germany), and part of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, installed Hinds Instruments’ Two Modulator Generalized Ellipsometry Microscope (2-MGEM) Optical Anisotropy Factor Measurement System to help characterize cross sections of tristructural isotropic nuclear fuel particles. The instrument is called a significant breakthrough by Hinds; it is faster, more accurate and collects considerably more data than previous optical anisotropy measurement techniques.

Sandia seeks to license microscope technology

Sandia National Laboratories (Albuquerque, NM) demonstrated its new hyperspectral confocal fluorescence microscope in August at Kirtland Air Force Base. This technology, which Sandia says is patent-protected and patent-pending, has been combined with multivariate algorithms and software developed at Sandia to form a complete system for the extraction of quantitative image information from hyperspectral images. “Sandia is seeking to commercialize this technology by partnering with interested firms through negotiated licensing agreements,” said Brent Burdick from Sandia’s Licensing and Intellectual Property Management Department.

Qualcomm joins IMEC’s 3-D chip program

Europe’s independent nanoelectronics research institute IMEC (Leuven, Belgium), and Qualcomm (San Diego, CA), a developer and innovator of advanced wireless technologies and data communications solutions, announced that Qualcomm is the first fabless integrated-circuit (IC) company to participate in IMEC’s program on three-dimensional (3-D) integration as a means to future semiconductor IC design. IMEC’s research program focuses on 3-D wafer-level packaging and 3-D stacked ICs to find innovative solutions for the cost-effective use of 3-D interconnects at different levels of the wiring hierarchy. Partners include Amkor, Infineon, Intel, Micron, NEC, NXP, Panasonic, Qimonda, Samsung, ST Microelectronics, Texas Instruments, and TSMC.

Gooch & Housego acquires General Optics

Precision optical components, crystals, optical instruments, and imaging systems manufacturer Gooch & Housego (Ilminster, England) announced a definitive agreement to acquire the business and assets of General Optics (Moorpark, CA) from GSI Group for $21 million. General Optics manufactures super-polished optics, optical components, and coatings to the aerospace and defense sector, and also serves the telecommunications, semiconductor, metrology, biomedical, and research markets. “The acquisition of General Optics is the latest step in delivering our strategic objectives of gaining greater presence in key target markets and in securing a leading or dominant position in the fields in which we operate,” said Gareth Jones, CEO of Gooch & Housego.

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Also in the news . . .

Polarizer manufacturer Codixx (Barleben, Germany) appointed scientific component and instrumentation provider Elliot Scientific (Hertfordshire, England) as distributor of its dichroic glass polarizers for use in the ultraviolet, visible, and infrared regions. . . . The Optical Society of America (Washington, DC) unveiled a redesign of its optics education Web site, OPTICSforKIDS.org, with new and updated features. . . . QED Technologies (Rochester, NY), a wholly owned subsidiary of Cabot Microelectronics, was a recipient of an R&D 100 Award for 2008 for its subaperture stitching interferometer for aspheres, a turnkey measurement tool capable of measuring complex optical surfaces. . . . ISP Optics (Irvington, NY), a manufacturer of infrared optical components, acquired the coating assets of Opticorp (Chelmsford, MA), a provider of infrared optical coatings. . . . Special Optics (Wharton, NJ), a vertically integrated supplier of precision optical components and assemblies, launched its enhanced website at specialoptics.com. . . . Thermo Fisher Scientific (Madison, WI) launched a new Web site to provide detailed information on near-infrared spectroscopy at www.thermo.com/nir.

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