Optics Industry Report

Sept. 1, 2002
Working with industry and academia, the state of New York plans to establish a Center of Excellence in Photonics for the Rochester region.

NY to invest $130 million in photonics

Working with industry and academia, the state of New York plans to establish a Center of Excellence in Photonics for the Rochester region. Dubbed the Infotonics Center of Excellence, the facility is a partnership between the state, the private sector, the federal government, and 20 academic institutions, which together have committed $130 million to support the project. The state will provide $43 million for the project, while Kodak, Corning, and Xerox have pledged $45 million and will raise another $30 million through the life of the project from other companies, for a total of $75 million in private-sector investment. Federal representatives have provided $13 million thus far toward the project, with more than 40% of federal support being targeted toward academic research at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and the University of Rochester.

Edmund to supply optics for tanks

Edmund Industrial Optics (EO; Barrington, NJ) has signed a contract with Northrop Grumman to provide Biocular Eyepieces for use in tanks. The Eyepiece assembly contains five high-resolution lenses and a mirror with precision surface flatness. EO will manufacture and coat the optics, perform the necessary metal work, and assemble the Eyepieces in-house. The contract calls for more than 580 complete assemblies. "We received this contract because Edmund Industrial Optics can meet all of a customer's needs under one roof—including CNC lens manufacturing, CNC metal work, custom lens coating, and assembly in a Class 1000 HEPA filter clean-room," said EO President John Stack.

Teem Photonics acquires Northstar

Teem Photonics (Grenoble, France), a provider of photonic solutions for high-bandwidth optical networks and erbium-doped waveguide amplifiers (EDWAs), has acquired the technology of former competitor Northstar Photonics in a deal with undisclosed terms. The acquisition, which includes a series of patents, applications, trademarks, and technical expertise, will accelerate Teem's EDWA development program and reduce time to market. Both management teams believe the convergence of their respective technologies will allow for devices that neither company could have produced alone.

IMEC opens new center of excellence

IMEC (Leuven, Belgium), an independent R&D center for microelectronics, has established a new center of excellence that will build upon the framework of its research activities on physics of failure mechanisms, reliability test structures and test methodologies, and built-in reliability. The new center is equipped with a wide range of reliability test systems and systems for failure and material analysis to address the economic demand for increased reliability levels of next-generation semiconductor devices and microsystems, including MEMS. The reliability center is looking to collaborate with industry and research centers, including equipment manufacturers, semiconductor and microsystems manufacturers, packaging houses, and fabless companies.

Hassaun A. Jones-Bey

Also in the news . . .

Rubicon Technology (Chicago, IL), a manufacturer of exotic optical-grade materials for the optoelectronics market, raised $9.5 million in its second round of investment. Rubicon will use the funds to continue to expand production of single crystal sapphire substrates, with particular emphasis on larger diameter sapphires and new exotic materials. . . . BFi OPTiLAS (Evry, France) has signed a Pan-European agreement for the distribution and the representation of the Oluma product portfolio. . . . MEMGen (Burbank, CA) has closed $5.7 million in Series A1 financing. MEMGen, which develops micro- and ultra-precision manufacturing technology, raised over $11 million in a first round of venture capital funding in February 2001. . . . Meikle Automation (Kitchener, Ontario, Canada), a global supplier of factory automation recently announced plans for opening a new 15,000-sq-ft facility in Kitchener, Ontario. This expansion brings the combined facility space to over 75,000 sq ft. In addition, the company has grown to 180 employees. . . . YKK (Macon, GA) has established a new North American Optical Components Division in Marietta, GA. YKK has been manufacturing high-precision zirconia fiberoptic ferrules, optical couplers, and connectors in Kurobe, Japan, since 1998. . . . Oki Optical Components has established a subsidiary in Mt. Laurel, NJ, with offices in Sunnyvale, CA, to better support its North American customers. . . . Sales from continuing operations at Newport (Irvine, CA) for the second quarter (ended June 30) totaled $44 million, compared with $43.9 million in the first quarter of 2002 and $93.7 million in the second quarter of 2001. The company reported a loss from continuing operations for the current second quarter of $6.5 million compared with income from continuing operations in the corresponding year-earlier period of $13.9 million.

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