optics industry report

CyOptics buys assets and hires staff from CENiX; Zygo receives and extends LLNL contracts; OMM ceases operations; MORE...

CyOptics buys assets and hires staff from CENiX

CyOptics (Waltham, MA) has purchased certain assets of CENiX (Irvine, CA), including all capital equipment, inventory, and intellectual property in the CENiX package development and manufacturing facility in Allentown, PA. In addition, CyOptics has hired the core manufacturing technical team. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. CENiX, which ceased normal business operations in February, according to a note on its website, retains the optoelectronic subsystem design and intellectual property assets that are part of it's former operations in Irvine, CA.

Zygo receives and extends LLNL contracts

Zygo (Middlefield, CT) has received a contract from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL; Livermore, CA) for 94 precision opto-mechanical assemblies, with a potential value of $8.6 million. The work will be performed at Zygo's Optical Assembly Center in Tucson, AZ, with optical components supplied by Zygo's Optical Manufacturing Center in Middlefield. Earlier this year, Zygo was awarded an LLNL contract for 192 vacuum relay telescopes with a potential value of $7.66 million, as well as a $4 million contract extension through February 2004 for laser amplifier labs, mirrors, and polarizers.

OMM ceases operations

OMM (San Diego, CA) ceased operations in March. Originally known as Optical Micro-Machines, the company started in 1997 with funding by a combination of venture capital and strategic customer investments. At its peak, the company had received more than $150 million in financing (much of it from leading global communications network-equipment manufacturers), employed more than 400, moved into a 100,000-sq-ft manufacturing facility, and filed for a public offering. But as with many other optical components companies that put all of their eggs in the telecom basket, the market downturn took its toll.


Scheduled for launch in 2007, the Kepler Mission, at the NASA Ames Research Center (Moffett Field, CA) will search for Earth-like planets beyond the solar system. In addition to NASA Ames, major research partners include the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab (Pasadena, CA) and Ball Aerospace and Technology (BATC; Boulder, CO). Other major research partners had not been chosen at press time, even though several were named in our January Industry Report based on an erroneous NASA press release. The entire Kepler Mission has a potential value to BATC on the order of $155 million.

Also in the news . . .

John Stack, president and COO of Edmund Industrial Optics (Barrington,NJ), has been named president of the Automated Imaging Association (Ann Arbor, MI) for 2003–2004, and Edmund Optics has also opened an Asian sales/customer service/technical support center in Singapore. . . . FeinFocus (Garbsen, Germany) celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2002 with an impressive 35% overall growth over 2001, despite a downward trend in the industry. . . . Coventor (Cary, NC) has announced a multiyear alliance with Cadence Design Systems (San Jose, CA) to offer comprehensive design tools for developing next-generation MEMS (microelectromechanical systems). . . . Newport (Irvine, CA) has launched a rapid prototyping program for custom optics. . . . Infineon (Munich, Germany) has become the second company to join the IMEC (Leuven, Belgium) industrial affiliation program (IIAP) that focuses on technology for reconfigurable systems. . . . Matheson Tri-Gas (Parsippany, NJ) and ATMI (Danbury, CT) have entered into a manufacturing and distribution agreement for ATMI's product line of sub-atmospheric gas storage and delivery technology for the compound semiconductor market. . . . Special Optics (Wharton, NJ) has won a Phase I SBIR contract from the Army to design and build a motorized zoom lens for long-range missile imaging, and has also doubled its manufacturing space in Wharton, NJ, to 20,000 sq ft. . . . First Keating (Tulsa, OK), a new company seeking to identify, promote and develop the use of holograms in business and personal communications, has begun trading common stock on the over-the-counter market. . . . IQE has announced the resignation from the board of directors of Tom Hierl, currently chief technical officer and Steve Byars, currently chief operating officer in support of restructuring and cost-cutting efforts. . . . Intel (Santa Clara, CA) has seeded a microprocessing fab in the Next Generation Economy (Albuquerque, NM) economic development group with $17.5 million in donated equipment.

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