IMAGING & DETECTOR INDUSTRY REPORT

Imaging systems company Goodrich (Charlotte, NC) signed an agreement with Bourns (Riverside, CA) to acquire the Chicago Aerial Industries and Pacific Optical Division assets of Recon/Optical (ROI; Barrington, IL, and Riverside, CA), a provider of low-to-medium-altitude airborne reconnaissance cameras and optical products for the homeland security and military markets.

Sep 1st, 2008

Goodrich acquires assets of ROI

Imaging systems company Goodrich (Charlotte, NC) signed an agreement with Bourns (Riverside, CA) to acquire the Chicago Aerial Industries and Pacific Optical Division assets of Recon/Optical (ROI; Barrington, IL, and Riverside, CA), a provider of low-to-medium-altitude airborne reconnaissance cameras and optical products for the homeland security and military markets. ROI employs approximately 170 people, was founded 1922, and generated more than $27 million in revenue in 2007.

ICU project targets automotive night vision

Six of Europe’s leading companies and research establishments have joined forces in a strategic research project entitled “Infrared Imaging Components for Use in Automotive Safety Applications,” or ICU. The ICU project aims to prototype a low-cost infrared (IR) night-vision system that can resolve a pedestrian or animal on the road. The IR imaging system will be developed to provide high-contrast images of warm (living) objects completely independent of ambient light conditions and is expected to considerably increase safety on the roads. Project partners include Umicore (Brussels, Belgium), Autoliv (Stockholm, Sweden), Infineon Technologies SensoNor (Norway, Sweden), KTH – Royal Institute of Technology (Stockholm, Sweden), Acreo (Kista, Sweden), and Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Brussels, Belgium).

SpectraWatt spins off from Intel

Intel (Santa Clara, CA) is spinning off key assets of a solar-energy start-up business effort inside Intel’s New Business Initiatives group to form an independent company called SpectraWatt. Intel Capital, Intel’s global investment organization, is leading a $50 million investment round in SpectraWatt and is joined by Cogentrix Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Goldman Sachs Group, PCG Clean Energy and Technology Fund, and Solon. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2008. SpectraWatt expects to break ground on its manufacturing and advanced technology development facility in Oregon in the second half of 2008 with first product shipments expected by mid-2009.

Major streak-camera order goes to Sydor

Sydor Instruments (Rochester, NY), a manufacturer of ultrafast imaging systems, was awarded a major contract to supply nine optical streak cameras to Project Orion, a new research center at AWE (Atomic Weapons Establishment) in Aldermaston, England. “Sydor Instruments is the only company that could provide the critical calibrated software that measures the power balance of high-intensity lasers used in high-energy physics,” said Michael Pavia, president of Sydor. “The Sydor Optical Streak System is the only self-calibrating streak camera in the world.” This order represents an additional nine systems (two delivered earlier) bringing the total order value with AWE to well over $3 million. Sydor expects to add to its technical team in order to fulfill this contract through the end of 2009.

SVTC launches Silicon Valley PV Center

Independent semiconductor process-development foundry SVTC Technologies (San Jose, CA) announced that its SVTC Solar photovoltaic (PV) business unit has launched the Silicon Valley Photovoltaic Development Center. The center will provide the burgeoning solar industry with the infrastructure—including development equipment, support, and engineering services—required to create and commercialize innovative solar-energy products. Agreements have been signed with leading PV industry suppliers and the center has accepted its first solar manufacturing customers. Corporate investment so far is estimated at $20 million to $30 million.

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Also in the news . . .

Hitachi and Canon have agreed to jointly develop and manufacture small and mid-size organic-light-emitting-diode displays for digital cameras within two years. . . . Nextreme Thermal Solutions (Durham, NC), provider of microscale thermal and power management products, was awarded a grant from the North Carolina Green Business Fund to enhance the efficiency of its thin-film thermoelectrics that convert waste heat into electricity. . . . Sean Nuzum and Tim Davey, two graduate students at the University of Southampton (Southampton, England) at the University’s School of Electronics and Computer Science, predicted in their final-year projects that solar-cell electricity generation will be cheaper than conventional fossil-fuel methods by 2014. . . . A report from industry analyst firm NanoMarkets (Glen Allen, VA) predicts that the market for building-integrated photovoltaics will reach more than $4 billion in revenues by 2013 and surpass $8 billion in 2015. . . . Luminus Devices (Billerica, MA) is collaborating with Texas Instruments on home-theater projection systems.

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