23 Jul 2004
Including news from Corning, Agilent, Lumileds Lighting, Bookham Technology and more.
General company news:
• Corning, US, has announced that it is ploughing $750 million into expanding its LCD glass substrate manufacturing capacity. The majority of the investment will add glass melting and finishing capacity for generation 5.5 and 6 substrates to Corning's Taichung facility in Taiwan. Corning expects to begin initial manufacturing in Taichung in quarter three of 2005, with additional capacity coming online throughout 2006.
• The French CEA has summoned South-Korean display maker Samsung to appear in front of the Paris Tribunal de Grande Instance. The CEA claims that Samsung intended to sell products which use the CEA's patented vertically-aligned high contrast technique in France without a licensing contract.
• Bookham Technology, UK, has sold its US subsidiary JCA Technology to Endwave for $6 million in cash. JCA, a former subsidiary of New Focus, makes RF amplifiers for the defense industry. "This follows our strategy to focus on our core optical business," said Bookham's chief commercial officer Steve Turley.
• Agilent Technologies and Lumileds are teaming up to develop a range of mid-power LEDs. The devices will target the automotive, cellphone and lighting markets. Lumileds will provide high-brightness LED chips while Agilent will contribute its design and integration know-how. The first products are expected to be available in the fourth quarter of 2004.
• The UK's Smart Optics Faraday Partnership has received a 3-year £750,000 grant from the Department of Trade and Industry. "The funding will allow us to spread our activities to sectors such as homeland security, renewable energy, transport and biotechnology," said partnership director Jon Holmes. "Our target is to catalyse at least £45million in turnover for our members in the form of innovative optics-based products by 2010."
• RPO, an Australian maker of polymer optical materials and waveguides, has secured AUD2.5 million in series A financing. The firm is developing polymer optical waveguides for an optical touch sensor for flat-panel displays. The funding will help RPO buy equipment and establish a new manufacturing plant.
• Axsys Technologies, a US developer of precision optical assemblies, has received a $3.3 million contract to produce an infrared zoom lens. It will be used on an upgraded infrared camera on an air defense system. The contract covers production through to April 2005.