Imaging & Detector Industry Report

Sept. 1, 2004
JDSU moves into HDTV with purchase of ADO; Study says laser scanners are losing ground to imagers; Olympus, Waseda to establish bioscience institute; MORE...

JDSU moves into HDTV with purchase of ADO

JDS Uniphase (San Jose, CA) acquired Advanced Digital Optics (ADO) for $12 million in cash. ADO designs and develops projection-display systems for theaters, high-definition TVs, avionic displays, and other uses. The acquisition follows the collaboration between the two companies in developing two microdisplay light engines for the fast-growing large-screen segment of this market.

One of the two light engines resulting from the collaboration, the JDS Uniphase UltreX, is designed for use with the liquid-crystal-on-silicon (LCOS) microdisplay technology used by Brillian (Tempe, AZ) and others. The other, the DefiniTV light engine, is designed around the Digital Light Processing (DLP) microdisplay imagers developed by Texas Instruments (Dallas, TX).

Study says laser scanners are losing ground to imagers

The global market for handheld barcode scanners will reach almost $974 million by the end of 2008, according to a new research report from Venture Development (VDC; Natick, MA). However, the 2004 Global AIDC Industry Business Planning Service estimates that while the overall handheld scanner market is forecast to grow at 8% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the next four years, laser-based scanners will see only 6.5% growth, while linear imagers are expected to grow at 11% CAGR and 2-D imagers are projected to grow at 20.8% CAGR.

Specific factors spurring adoption of linear and 2-D imagers include average selling prices, which Smith says will decrease at a 4.6% rate through 2008, prompting system upgrades for users who in the past hesitated due to the significantly higher price of imagers, and the growing acceptance of 2-D symbologies that require 2-D imagers (versus laser scanners) to read and process the codes.

Olympus, Waseda to establish bioscience institute

Waseda University (Singapore) and Olympus (Tokyo, Japan) have opened the Waseda-Olympus Bioscience Research Institute, a joint research facility that will focus on the investigation of higher brain functions such as intellect and awareness. The center will be located in the Biopolis, a biomedical sciences R&D hub located near the National University of Singapore aimed at fostering collaboration between the private and public research communities. The research conducted at the institute will integrate Olympus' strengths in the bioscience research area gained through its experience developing biological microscopes and genome-analysis systems and the research expertise offered by Waseda.

Optical imaging enhances neurosurgery

A CCD camera that works with beams of near-IR light to detect tiny tumors and areas of cancerous tissue in the brains of mice could increase the survival rate of human cancer patients. The system may help neurosurgeons define tumor margins when they operate on patients who have brain tumors, according to investigators at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer (Houston, Texas) and Texas A&M (College Station, TX). Neurosurgeons currently use traditional diagnostic scanning methods to pinpoint where tumors are located. However, once the skull is open, soft brain matter shifts, making it difficult to know where tumor tissue ends.

In related news, researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (Los Angeles, CA) and the University of Southern California are developing miniaturized spectroscopic instruments to look at biochemical, functional, and structural changes occurring within the cells and tissue of the brain. By using laser-induced fluorescence spectroscopy, they are able to quickly and accurately discriminate between brain tumor and normal tissue. If the technology continues to progress as anticipated, neurosurgeons will be able to shine a light during surgery to diagnose brain tumors and discern the borders of tumors with greater precision.

Also in the news . . .

Ametek (Paoli, PA) acquired Taylor Hobson Holdings (Leicester, England), a manufacturer of ultra-precision surface-measurement instrumentation for a variety of markets, including optics, semiconductors, hard-disk drives, and nanotechnology research, for US$95 million (£51 million). . . . Engineered Support Systems (St. Louis, MO) won an $8.9 million order from the U.S. Army's Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (Warren, MI) to provide high-tech targeting systems that include a laser designator/rangefinder and blended inertial/global positioning system navigation and targeting. . . . Diversified Optical Product (Salem, NH) received a $9 million contract from BAE Systems (Lexington, MA) to design a build the infrared objective-lens assemblies for its Thermal Weapons Sight II.

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