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Business briefs

24 Sep 2004

Including news from Arisawa, Northrop Grumman, Kyocera, CVI Laser, StockerYale, Mitsubishi and more.

General company news:

•  Japan based Arisawa Manufacturing is to invest £1.1 million in US firm Dynamic Digital Depth (DDD). As part of the deal DDD's TriDef 3D software will be added to Arisawa's range of 3D displays. The deal also includes a £140 000 development agreement under which DDD will deliver a hardware chip version of its recently announced real-time 2D to 3D converter. The chip allows the video signal from DVD players and satellite, cable and terrestrial broadcasts to be shown on Arisawa's 3D displays.

•  In a move that could bring laser weapons closer to the battlefield, Northrop Grumman has released video footage of its tactical high energy laser (THEL) shooting down incoming mortar rounds. Performed at the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, the tests are said by the US firm to be representative of actual mortar threat scenarios.

•  CRL Opto, the UK developer of microdisplays, has been acquired by two venture capital firms and given $19 million in funding and a new name. The new firm CRL Opto Displays Limited is owned by Amadeus Capital and Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures.

Contracts:

•  CVI Laser has won a $1 million contract to supply mounts for laser optic assemblies at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) operated by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, US. The contract, which runs through 2007, involves providing custom designed mounts to reduce wavefront distortion of the project's injection laser system.

Manufacturing:

•  Kyocera plans to ramp up solar-electric module production to 240 megawatts per year by August 2005. The first of the new production centers will open in Tijuana, Mexico on Ocober 1, 2004, supplying photovoltaic (PV) modules throughout the Americas. A second facility, planned to open in Kadan, Czech Republic, will supply PV modules to Germany and other EU countries beginning in April 2005. At the same time, Kyocera will add a new production facility to its Yohkaichi plant in Japan, to double its output of solar cells - the basic building blocks of solar PV modules.

•  Jaco Display Solutions, part of the US Jaco Electronics group, is set to construct a 20 000 foot manufacturing facility for the design, assembly and testing of flat panel displays. The announcement follows Jaco's sale of its Nexus Custom Electronics contract manufacturing unit to Sagamore Holdings for $12 million. Jaco will receive $9.25 million in cash and the remainder in the form of a subordinated note issued by the purchaser. "We also plan to deploy the proceeds from the sale to expand in the Far East and explore additional distribution-based opportunities such as strategic acquisitions," said Jaco CEO Joel Girsky.

Distribution:

•  StockerYale has signed an agreement with Mitsubishi for the mutual distribution of specialty optical fiber (SOF). Under the terms of the agreement, Mitsubishi will distribute select StockerYale SOF products into the Japanese market for applications including telecoms, sensor and laser delivery. Concurrently, StockerYale will distribute select Mitsubishi SOF under the StockerYale brand name into US markets.

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