10 Jan 2003
Including news from Lumenis, Zygo, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, New Focus, Optiva and more.
• Yacha Sutton has retired as chief executive officer (CEO) of Lumenis but will stay with the company as an advisor. Arie Genger, who joined the Israeli medical laser maker as vice chairman in mid-2001, has been appointed as the new CEO.
• Optiva, a US maker of nanomaterials, has raised USD 30 million in its latest funding round. The cash will go towards developing Optiva's thin crystal film technology, which is said to simplify flat-panel display construction. The company will also use the funds to expand its operations and sales.
• New Focus, US, has settled its patent infringement lawsuit with French firm Photonetics. The French company had initially brought action against New Focus relating to the design of New Focus's tunable lasers. New Focus then filed counterclaims regarding infringement of its proprietary external laser cavity technology. Under the terms of the settlement, the companies will now license patents to each other.
• RSoft Design Group, US, has acquired ARTIS, the Italian developer of software for simulating optical networks. The US firm will continue to support users of ARTIS software. ARTIS's OptSim product will be merged with RSoft's LinkSim simulation package, while its Artifex package will join RSoft's photonics and network design automation family.
• Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, US, has extended its contract with Zygo, US, in a deal worth USD 4 million. Zygo will continue to make meter-sized optics such as amplifier slabs and polarizers for the National Ignition Facility, which is being built to study nuclear fusion. The extension will run to February 2004.
• The UK-based Midlands photonics cluster and the UK Laser and Electo-Optics Association (UKLEO) have merged to form one unified photonics cluster. The new venture hopes to create a strong, single UK-wide business network for optoelectronics and photonics companies.