03 Sep 2004
Including news from Hitachi, Toshiba, Rofin-Sinar, Denselight Semiconductors, Logitech and more.
• Japanese firms Hitachi, Toshiba and Matsushita Electric Industrial are establishing a joint venture (JV) to manufacture and sell LCD panels for flat-panel televisions. The JV will invest ¥110 billion to build an amorphous TFT LCD panel production line at Hitachi Displays' Mobara facility. Mass production is scheduled to begin in March 2007 with the JV hoping to make 2.5 million 32-inch LCD panels a year by the second half of fiscal 2008.
• Rofin-Sinar has acquired US firms PRC Laser of New Jersey and Lee Laser of Florida for an undisclosed cash sum. The deal includes PRC's subsidiary PRC Europe of Belgium. PRC makes high-power CO2 lasers while Lee produces solid-state lasers for materials processing applications. With a combined total of 120 employees, the companies generate an annual turnover of around $30 million.
• Sanyo Epson Imaging Devices of Japan, a merger of Seiko Epson and Sanyo Electric's LCD businesses, is to begin operations on October 1. The firm, which specialized in LCDs for portable electronics, will employ 2500 people and anticipates second-half revenues for the fiscal year ending March 31 2005 of approximately ¥200 000 million.
• CEDIP Infrared Systems, the French thermal IR camera specialist, has opened a subsidiary in Munich, Germany. CEDIP Infrared Systems GmbH will be responsible for promoting, marketing and supporting CEDIP products in Germany and in German speaking countries. The new offices will also house a temperature calibration laboratory and a camera testing facility.
• Applied Optoelectronics (AOI), a maker of laser diodes and photodetectors for fiber-optic communication systems, has acquired US patent number 6,263,002 from fellow US firm Micron Optics. The patent covers external-cavity diode laser (ECDL) technology and will allow AOI to form a source which has one cavity mirror on the end of an optical fiber. AOI has granted Micron access to some of its VCSEL patents as part of the deal.
• Marconi says it has paid-off the full $1.2 billion of debt it assumed during its financial restructuring in May 2003. The debt was originally due for repayment by 2008. "We have emerged with a strong balance sheet and can now fully focus our efforts on growing our business," said the firm's chief executive Mike Parton.
• Logitech has launched an optical mouse that uses an infrared laser - rather than an LED - to track its position. Made by Agilent Technologies, the sensor used in the mouse is said to improve operation on surfaces such as painted metal, polished wood and glossy paper.
• Denselight Semiconductors, the InP optoelectronic chip manufacturer based in Singapore, claims to have produced the most powerful superluminescent LED (SLED) to date. The company believes that the device, which emits 120 mW at 1550 nm, could penetrate applications such medical imaging, security and industrial sensing.
• Cambridge Technology, the US maker of galvanometer-based optical scanning technology, has officially opened its south-east Asia logistics center. A&P Instrument Company of Hong Kong will run the operation. Cambridge has also appointed Veego of Taiwan as its distributor to the Republic of China.