Imaging & Detector Industry Report

Sept. 1, 2000
Adept acquires HexaVision; PFI receives award to develop printable display; Covion licenses polymer technology from Ormecon Chemie; Three-Five and Synaptics come together on displays ...

Adept acquires HexaVision

Adept Technology (San Jose, CA), a maker of industrial robots and a specialist in factory automation, has acquired HexaVision Technologies (Sainte Foy, Quebec, Canada) in a deal closed in July of this year. HexaVision develops and markets vision-system software for machine and robot guidance; its algorithms are based on geometric object location, a technique relatively insensitive to object rotation and background illumination. Adept will incorporate the software into its own guidance tools, as well as market the software separately. Adept expects to apply HexaVision's algorithms to vision-system-based servofunctions for fiberoptic alignment and assembly, among other applications.

PFI receives award to develop printable display

Printable Field Emitters Ltd. (PFI; Hartlepool, England) has won a monetary award from England's Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to develop a 5.2-in.-diagonal printable field-emission display. The award represents 30% of a £1.4 million ($2.11 million) program. The company has already been funded by the DTI to develop an emitter material for a video-rate display device, which it demonstrated in a 32 x 32-pixel version last year. The fabrication process uses plasma-display-panel manufacturing equipment, is done without any vacuum-deposition steps, and results in a device that operates at 40 V. Over the next two years, PFI plans to scale the technology up in size to 15-in. devices, with an ultimate goal of 40 in.

Covion licenses polymer technology from Ormecon Chemie

Covion Organic Semiconductors GmbH (Frankfurt, Germany) has acquired exclusive rights to manufacture and sell the polyaniline conductive polymer technology developed by Ormecon Chemie (Ammersbek, Germany). Covion will incorporate the material into electronic thin-film devices and organic light-emitting devices (OLEDs). The electronic grade of polyaniline is a water-based dispersion with controllable properties that ease manufacture of OLEDs and provide longer device lifetimes. Although the material is designed for passive-matrix displays, its high conductivity makes it suitable for active-matrix displays as well.

Three-Five and Synaptics come together on displays

Three-Five Systems (Tempe, AZ) and Synaptics (San Jose, CA) have signed an agreement to jointly develop and market touch-panel liquid-crystal displays (LCDs). Three-Five will supply custom-designed or standard LCDs, while Synaptics will provide the touch panel and electronic interface. In addition, Synaptics' large presence in the mainland Chinese market will benefit Three-Five's own growing presence there, says Jim Bowser, a Three-Five vice president. Three-Five has just completed a manufacturing plant in Beijing that has already received a production order and two design orders from three separate Chinese customers. As well as standard LCDs, Three-Five develops liquid-crystal-on-silicon microdisplays.

eMagin receives $3 million to develop OLED display

eMagin Corp. (Hopewell Junction, NY) has been awarded a $3 million grant from the US Air Force to develop high-brightness active-matrix organic-light-emitting-diode (OLED) devices for use in head-mounted displays. The award is the renewal of a Phase III Small Business Innovation Research grant; the renewal period runs for eight months. eMagin is developing a 1280 x 1024 military-oriented display and has already built a 0.77-in. prototype with a brightness of 200 cd/m2 and a power consumption of less than 200 mW. The company licensed the OLED technology from Eastman Kodak (Rochester, NY). Plans are to demonstrate head-mounted displays in F-15C and F-15E fighter jets.

Also in the news . . .

Sony Corp. (Tokyo, Japan) obtained an exclusive license from Silicon Light Machines (Sunnyvale, CA) for its grating light-valve technology for use in displays. . . . Shellcase Ltd. (Jerusalem, Israel) joined Mirage, a European Commission MEMS-based display effort. . . . National Semiconductor Corp. (Santa Clara, CA) bought flat-panel-display design firm Vivid Semiconductor.

John Wallace

For more business news, subscribe to Optoelectronics Report. Contact Jayne Sears-Renfer at [email protected].

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