Optics Industry Report

Feb. 1, 2001
Corning to double capacity for fluoride crystals; Spectrogon AB expands manufacturing capacity; Accent Optical Technologies Inc. closes $15.9-million investment ...
Corning to double capacity for fluoride crystalsCorning Inc. (Corning, NY) plans to invest more than $30 million this year to expand production of fluoride crystals in its Canton, NY-based manufacturing facility, which will allow the firm to more than double its capacity of the crystals used to make optical microlithography lenses. The company expects the move to create 125 new jobs in the next few years. This expansion announcement follows two other recent investments in the semiconductor business in less than 24 months—the acquisition of fluoride crystal manufacturer Optovac (North Brookfield, MA) and the expansion of that firm's production facilities.Spectrogon AB expands manufacturing capacityThe Swedish company Spectrogon AB has expanded its manufacturing capacity for holographic diffraction gratings and thin-film optics with the acquisition of a 2250-m2 factory in Taeby, Sweden. The firm also has a US sales and marketing subsidiary in Parsippany, NJ, as well a subsidiary in Glenrothes, Scotland that specializes in designing and manufacturing ion-etched holographic diffraction gratings for extreme ultraviolet and soft x-ray applications.Accent Optical Technologies Inc. closes $15.9-million investmentAccent Optical Technologies Inc. (Bend, OR) closed its second round of funding last month, bringing the total to $15.9 million. The net proceeds will be used to finance the development of the optoelectronic research and development center in Hemel Hempstead, England; to expand facilities in Korea, Taiwan and Japan; to retire debt; and as working capital. "We are excited about having such prestigious investors on board and their commitment to our company," stated Bruce Rhine, CEO, president and chairman.BFGoodrich completes acquisition of Raytheon Optical SystemsThe BFGoodrich Co. (Charlotte, NC) has completed the acquisition of the electro-optical systems unit of Raytheon (Lexington, MA), which develops and manufactures advanced products and technologies used in space transport and payload applications, including systems used on the sophisticated Hubble Telescope Satellite and Chandra X-Ray Observatory. In addition to precision optical sensors and advanced large optical systems, the Raytheon unit, which had revenues of $152 million in 1999, also makes laser warning systems and visual surveillance systems for day and night use. While many of these products were originally developed for military applications, there are considerable opportunities in the commercial arena, which BFGoodrich will pursue.NEC to divest optical and microwave semiconductor operationsNEC Corp. (NEC; Tokyo, Japan) is divesting its optical-semiconductor as well as its microwave-silicon and compound-semiconductor operations to a new company that it will form in October 2001. The devices are key enablers of broadband and mobile networking equipment, and the move is aimed at reinforcing NEC's position as global leader in this area while maximizing the overall corporate value of the NEC Group. The new company, with paid-in capital of $12 billion, is expected to generate first-year sales of $120 billion and will be staffed by approximately 500 people. Preparations for the establishment of the company will begin in April when Japan's revised business law comes into effect. While NEC will have 100% ownership of the new firm, it intends to take the company to an initial public offering within two years. Research and development for these and other next-generation devices will be located at a Kansai device-R&D facility to be based within the NEC Kansai plant in western Japan.Also in the news . . .Lambda Research Corp. (Littleton, MA) has acquired the Oslo lens-design software line from Sinclair Optics Inc. (Fairport, NY). . . . Peregrine Semiconductor Corp. (San Diego, CA) has raised a total of $37.5 million in its Series G Preferred financing. . . . Metrologic Instruments Inc. (Blackwood, NJ) has completed the acquisition of Adaptive Optics Associates Inc. (AOA), a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (Hartford, CT).

Paula Noaker Powell

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