Grenoble, France – Memscap, a product specialist in microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), has announced the set up of a wholly-owned subsidiary in Tempere, Finland. Memscap Oy is the result of a strategic agreement between the French company and Finland's Optoelectronics Research Center (ORC), part of Tampere University of Technology.
Key to the new company is Mihail Dumitrescu, a former ORC scientist and now director for active optical components at Memscap. The initial strategic agreement covers products designed by Dumitrescu; ORC will license resonant cavity light emitting diodes and high-performance vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSELs) to Memscap. It will also provide intellectual property rights, patents, and scientific staff.
The Center's facilities will provide a capacity for prototyping and low volume production of laser components. Memscap intends to build up its own high-volume production facilities over the course of the next 18 months. The two sides will also work together on the development of new products including 1.3 µm VCSELs and tunable VCSELs that should be available for commercialization in 2002.
Memscap was founded in 1997 by Jean-Michel Karam, formerly head of the Microsystems Group at the French research institute, TIMA Laboratories, in Grenoble. Karam now serves as chairman, president and CEO of the company. Memscap is an innovative provider of MEMS-based solutions for the design, development, and manufacture of telecom products. The company's shares are traded on Euronext under the ticker symbol MEMS.
Karam commented on the new venture: “The fiberoptic industry requires a high-volume, cost-effective component solution for deployment in all segments of the photonic chain. With the establishment of Memscap Oy and our agreement with ORC, we expect to rapidly provide a full range of MEMS-based solutions within the optical source, WDM, amplifier, and OADM markets.”
Director of ORC, Markus Pessa, gave his perspective on the new agreement; “ORC's mission is to promote cooperation in between enterprises and academic research teams. Memscap's leadership in optical MEMS, its financial resources, and established infrastructure offer a strong foundation from which to move ORC technology into the mainstream.”