Optics Industry Report

May 1, 2002

by Hassaun A. Jones-Bey

IQE forms strategic partnership with CST
IQE (Cardiff, Wales) has announced a strategic partnership with CST Global (Glasgow, Scotland), the compound-semiconductor optoelectronic foundry. The partnership extends the existing close working relationship between the companies to provide integration of the epitaxial growth and wafer fabrication technologies to satisfy market needs for a combined foundry service. IQE will provide III-V epitaxial growth and CST will provide wafer-fabrication services to customer-defined designs and fabrication stages.

Light Management Group subsidiary wins distribution contract
The South American subsidiary, Optico Luz SA, of Light Management Group (Norcross, GA) has procured a contract to distribute NetScreen Technologies (Sunnyvale, CA) products for Esoluciones S.A. According to the terms of the contract, Optico Luz SA will become a value-added reseller for Esoluciones S.A. in the territory of Ecuador. Esoluciones S.A. is a Colombian-based company that distributes software and hardware to clients, along with solutions in remote connectivity, network management, security, internetworking, and administration of computer science. Esoluciones S.A. is the master distributor of NetScreen products throughout the Andean Pact nations of Ecuador, Guyana, Suriname, and Venezuela, providing complete infrastructure for support and local service.

Meikle Automation makes strategic moves
Meikle Automation (Kitchener, Ont., Canada) has entered an agreement with Agilent Technologies (Palo Alto, CA) that calls for cooperation initially based on integration of equipment and technologies, and a cooperation of sales and marketing resources. Under this nonexclusive partnership, Meikle and Agilent will jointly generate business leads, evaluate market potential, integrate equipment, and validate production processes, particularly as applied in the photonics industry. Meikle has also formalized an acquisition of Electro-Mechanical Specialties Inc. of Sanford, NC, which will position Meikle.

Schott Lithotec acquires DuPont Photomasks unit
Schott Lithotec USA, a wholly owned subsidiary of Schott Lithotec AG (Jena, Germany), has acquired the photoblank business unit of DuPont Photomasks (Round Rock, TX). DuPont Photomasks has also entered a long-term supply agreement with Schott and formed a strategic alliance to jointly develop advanced photoblanks. Schott Lithotec has agreed to pay DuPont Photomasks $28 million in cash and $2 million in Schott Lithotec AG stock. Schott Lithotec AG has also agreed to pay DuPont Photomasks up to $12 million in stock over the next two years, subject to achieving certain milestones. The agreement includes Schott Lithotec's acquisition of DuPont Photomasks' photoblank production facility located in Poughkeepsie, NY. Schott Lithotec will offer all of the approximately 80 employees of the Poughkeepsie facility positions within its organization.

Tektronix signs agreement to acquire Profile
Tektronix (Beaverton, OR) has signed an agreement to acquire Profile Optische Systeme (Munich, Germany), a manufacturer of optical-component test and measurement equipment. Profile will be integrated with Tektronix's optical business, expanding the company's portfolio of products focused on physical layer test and providing the technology building blocks for future optical network test solutions. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. "We are investing in optical communications as a key area for growth in the future," said Rick Wills, CEO and chairman of Tektronix. "Profile has the optical technology expertise and products that complement Tektronix's current optical-test portfolio."

Also in the news . . .

Opto Speed (Mezzovico, Switzerland) has secured nearly US$17.6 million in a second round of financing. . . . The Society for Imaging Science & Technology (Springfield, VA) and SPIE (The International Society for Optical Engineering; Bellingham, WA) are relocating the jointly sponsored Electronic Imaging conference to Santa Clara, CA, on Jan. 20-24, 2003. . . . Olympus Optical Company (San Jose, CA) has launched Olympus's MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) Foundry Services. . . . Flextronics Photonics (San Jose, CA) and Peregrine Semiconductor (San Diego, CA) have announced a joint marketing, manufacturing, and development agreement. . . . Teem Photonics (Grenoble, France) has opened a subsidiary located in New York City. . . . Ultratech Stepper (San Jose, CA), has joined Global Care—an industry-wide environmental health and safety initiative offered by SEMI (Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International; San Jose, CA).

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