19 Sep 2003
Including news from Corning, Sharp, Northrop Grumman, Varioptic and more.
• Corning, US, has sold its venture capital subsidiary to Scimitar Capital Partners. Corning Innovation Ventures (CIV) was established in October 2000 with a $50million fund to invest in optical start-ups. Specific terms of the deal were not disclosed.
• Sharp says it has developed the world’s first notebook PC to have a 3D liquid-crystal display (LCD). The company says that no special glasses are required to view the images and that the display can be switched seamlessly between 2D and 3D modes. The product, designated the PC-RD3D, will be launched in Japan next month.
• Northrop Grumman’s Space Technology sector has won the 18-month, $18million phase 2 contract to develop the Strategic Illuminator Laser (SILL) for the US military. SILL is a four-kilowatt, solid-state pulsed laser system and will play a crucial role in projects such as the Airborne Laser. The contract was awarded by the US Missile Defense Agency.
• Venture capitalist firm Sofinnova Partners has invested EURO 2 million in fellow French firm Varioptic. A spin-off from France’s l’Ecloe Normale Supérieure in Lyon, Varioptic develops miniature self-focusing lenses.
• Trimble, a US developer of global positioning technology, has acquired MENSI of France for up EURO 6.5 million ($7.3million) in cash. MENSI makes terrestrial 3D laser-scanning technology. Trimble has settled on an initial purchase price of EURO 3.5 million with additional payments up to EURO 3 million based on revenue through 2007.
• Meko, a UK-based market analyst, says that LCDs are continuing to take market share from traditional CRT monitors across Europe. Its research shows that, for the first time, LCD monitors account for more than 50% of the European market by volume. “By the beginning of 2005, LCD monitors will account for more than three quarters of the market, assuming a ramp-up in production at fifth generation and above fabs,” said Meko principal Bob Raikes.