19 Mar 2004
Including news from Cree, AXT, Strategy Analytics, TDK, Biolase and more.
• Cree and Boston University of the US have dropped their patent infringement lawsuit against substrate maker AXT, also of the US. The lawsuit, which was brought against AXT in June 2003, concerned the alleged infringement of US patent number 5 686 738 entitled “Highly insulating monocrystalline GaN thin films”. AXT has now dropped all of its counterclaims. The financial terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
• The market for gallium nitride (GaN) laser diodes will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 195% reaching $272 million in 2008, according to a report from UK-based consultancy Strategy Analytics. The firm believes that growth will be fuelled by optical storage applications such as DVD players which use violet-emitting GaN lasers.
• TDK of Japan is to join the Blu-ray disc founders (BDF) group. TDK becomes the first maker of recording media to join the group, which already includes consumer electronics giants such as Samsung Electronics, Sharp and Sony. Blu-ray is being developed to enable recording, rewriting and playback of high-definition television. A Blu-ray disc is expected to store up to 27 GB in single layer format and 54 GB in dual layer design.
• Biolase, the US maker of dental laser systems, has successfully completed a second public offering. The firm made 2 807 000 shares available. This included 2 500 000 new shares and 307 500 being sold by American Medical Technologies. Priced at $18.50 per share, the offering netted Biolase just under $52 million which was fed back into the company on March 3.
• Nichia of Japan has issued a warning to firms that have received a license to make white LEDs using Osram’s fluorescent converter technology. “Those who manufacture, import, use and/or sell white LEDs using such fluorescent substances or any products incorporating such white LEDs are strongly warned to pay close and unremitting attention not to cause any infringement upon those basic patents held by Nichia,” said a statement by the firm.
• Bookham Technology, the UK maker of optical components, is opening a manufacturing facility in Shenzhen, China. The 250 000 square foot factory was obtained through Bookham’s acquisition of New Focus. The first products to be manufactured in Shenzhen will be transmitter optical assemblies, receiver optical assemblies, amplifiers and connectors.