Imaging and Detector Industry Report

Oct. 1, 2002
Planar Systems returns to flat-panel displays; Proposed DVD standard may facilitate transition; MORE...

Planar Systems returns to flat-panel displays

Planar Systems (Beaverton, OR) has exited the photonics components business and the 20 full-time positions in the Planar photonics group, located in Beaverton and Lake Mills, WI, will be eliminated. The developer of flat-panel displays launched its photonics initiative in early 2001 to deploy its proprietary thin-film deposition and liquid-crystal technology into the telecommunications market. "The engineers and scientists involved in the photonics program achieved all the necessary technical milestones, but we did not anticipate the severity of the telecommunications downturn," said Balaji Krishnamurthy, president and CEO of Planar Systems.

Proposed DVD standard may facilitate transition

Toshiba and NEC (Tokyo, Japan) have proposed to the DVD Forum a next-generation, high-capacity, blue-laser DVD format that will allow manufacturers to continue to use existing DVD plant and equipment and so minimize the investment required for the transition to next-generation DVD players and drives. The proposed format increases the capacity of read-only discs to 15 Gbytes for a single-sided, single-layer disc, and from 8.5 to 30 Gbytes for a single-sided dual-layer disk, and pushes the capacity of read-and-write disks, which currently are single-sided with a single-layer, from 4.7 to 20 Gbytes. The increased capacity of the proposed format uses a blue laser, and the two companies' new signal-processing and phase-change media recording technologies.

DuPont RiTEK collaborate on OLED displays

DuPont Displays (Research Triangle Park, NC), a division of DuPont Electronic and Communication Technologies, and RiTdisplays, a spin-off of RiTEK (Hsinchu, Taiwan), have established a manufacturing plant in Hsinchu to produce polymer-based OLED (organic light emitting diode) flat-panel display modules for DuPont Displays to market. Combining DuPont Displays' proprietary technology (licensed from Cambridge Display Technologies) with the manufacturing expertise of RiTdisplay, the facility will initially manufacture single-color passive matrix displays using polymer-based OLED technology.

Fluke acquires Raytek

Fluke (Everett, WA), a manufacturer of electronic test tools, has acquired through its parent corporation, Danaher, Raytek (Santa Cruz, CA) a manufacturer of noncontact infrared temperature measurement instrumentation. Fluke will retain the Raytek brand name as well as its locations and staff around the world. There are no immediate plans to change the company's sales structure. Raytek's current President, Cliff Warren, will report directly to Jim Lico, president of Fluke.

Rockwell delivers low-Earth orbiting "eyes"

Rockwell Scientific (RSC; Thousand Oaks, CA) has delivered two very-long-wave infrared sensor chip assemblies to Raytheon (Lexington, MA) for use on the U.S. Space Based Infrared System Low program. The assemblies, which detect light in the infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, will be the "eyes" for a fleet of low-Earth orbiting satellites that will detect, track, and identify hostile missiles through all phases of their flight.

Coreco reaps national business honors

Coreco Imaging (Montreal, Quebec), a manufacturer of machine-vision products, has been named one of Canada's top technology companies by two leading business publications. Canadian Business Magazine has ranked Coreco Imaging in its annual list of top technology companies in Canada based on quarterly sales and earnings figures. Report on Business (ROB) magazine, often referred to as "Canada's Power Book," has also chosen Coreco Imaging as one of Canada's Top 1000 companies in its exclusive annual list.

Also in the news . . .

Roper Industries (Bogart, GA), is expanding the imaging business within its analytical instrumentation segment with the acquisition of Qimaging (Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada), a manufacturer of FireWire CCD digital cameras. QImaging will continue to market and conduct business under the QImaging trademark name and will become a subsidiary of Roper Industries, Inc. . . . Advanced Photonix (Camarillo, CA) has acquired the assets of Silicon Sensors (Dodgeville, WI) for a cash purchase price of $1.7 million. Paul Ludwig, president of Silicon Sensors for the past five years, has been appointed chief operating officer of the combined entities, with primary responsibility for all manufacturing operations and engineering. . . . BFi OPTiLAS (Evry, France) has signed an exclusive pan-European agreement for the distribution and the representation of the Opto Speed (Rüschlikon, Switzerland) indium phosphide-based optoelectronic components portfolio. . . . L.G. Philips (Seoul, South Korea)—a joint venture company established in July 1999 by L.G. Electronics and Royal Philips Electronics—that manufactures AMLCDs, has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Chunghwa Picture Tubes (CPT), Tatung and Tatung of America, concerning thin-film transistor (TFT)-LCD technology.

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