10 Oct 2003
Including news from Nichia, Alfalight, Strategies Unlimited, Quantel and more.
• Nichia of Japan has been granted an injunction order against its Taiwanese rival, Epistar, that will prevent Epistar from making, selling, using, importing and marketing products that allegedly infringes one of Nichia’s patents covering blue LED technology. A statement from Nichia says it will: “take additional action against other Epistar products, other products of other manufacturers in Taiwan and/or assembly manufacturers that use infringing products.”
• Alfalight, a US maker of high-power diode lasers, has received a $3.9 million grant as part of DARPA’s super-high efficiency diode source (SHEDS) program. The goal of the SHEDS program is to increase a diode laser’s wall-plug efficiency to 65% in the first 18 months of the project, and then 80% in the subsequent 18 months.
• Strategies Unlimited, a US-based market analyst, has predicted that the image sensor market will exceed $2.6 billion in 2003 and grow to over $4 billion in 2007. The company says that CMOS sensors are gaining sales in both high and low-end applications. However, it added that it will take longer than expected for CMOS sensors to replace CCDs in cell phones due to the expensive price tag associated with CMOS.
• Laser manufacturer Quantel, France, continued its run of good financial results in the first half of the fiscal year. Revenue hit EURO19 million, up 20% on the 2002 figure of EURO15.8 million. A lucrative US contract to provide lasers for document authentication helped boost the company’s sales into the scientific/industrial sector by over 50% to EURO11.5 million. Results in the medical sector were more modest, and showed an 8.5% rise to EURO7.5 million. Pre-tax profit rose to EURO1.3 million, up from EUR0.5 million last year, and Quantel said that the remainder of the year also looks strong, with a raft of new contracts signed.
• Universal Display Corporation (UDC), a US developer of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technologies, has been awarded two $100 000 phase I small business innovation contracts by the US Department of Energy. One grant covers the development of UDCs phosphorescent OLED (PHOLED) technology. The second grant focuses on lowering the operating voltages and improving the light extraction of PHOLEDs to levels acceptable for the general lighting market.
• Aprilis, a maker of holographic data storage systems, has signed a service and supply agreement with fellow US company Dow Corning Photonics. Under the agreement, Dow Corning will supply Aprilis with materials that Aprilis uses in the production of its proprietary products.