03 Dec 2004
Including news from Jenoptik, Toshiba, Corning, BTG, Mitsubishi Electric and more.
General company news:
• Toshiba says it has received backing from Hollywood studios Paramount, Universal, New Line Cinema and Warner Brothers for its next generation, high-definition DVD format (HD-DVD). A single, dual layer HD-DVD disc has a capacity of 30GB and can hold up to eight hours of high-definition movie content.
• Jena-Optronik, a subsidiary of Jenoptik, and EADS Space Transportation have won a contract valued in the double-digit million EURO range. The order is for twelve laser-based rendezvous sensors which automate the approach and docking manoeuvres of supply vehicles visiting the International Space Station. The systems are said to operate up to a distance of 1000 meters.
• Thales Laser has been awarded a $1.8 million contract for a 100-terawatt class laser. The laser will be installed at the Physics Department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2005. The company claims that the system will be the first commercial 100 TW class system operating at 10Hz in a research facility.
• The IST-QuComm collaboration has been awarded part of the European Union's Descartes prize for its work on quantum cryptography. It shares the EURO1 million prize with life scientists studying mitochondrial DNA. IST-QuComm is made up of research groups in Sweden, Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, UK and US.
• DALSA says it will phase out hazardous substances identified in the European Union's Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive by April 2006. The final list of DALSA's RoHS-compliant products will be available in June 2005. The RoHS directive limits the use of substances such as lead, mercury and cadmium.
Licensing and distribution agreements:
• Corning has licensed its patents covering the manufacture of precision molded optics to Hitachi-Maxell. The optics are used in a range of electronic products including digital still cameras. The non-exclusive agreement was set-up through UK intellectual property and technology commercialisation firm BTG.
• BTG has also licensed electro-absorption modulator (EAM) and distributed feedback (DFB) laser technologies to Mitsubishi Electric. Both technologies are used to produce high-quality optical signals at 1 GB/s and above in long-distance optical telecommunication networks.
• Brillian of the US has signed a distribution agreement with Holoeye Photonics of Germany. Holoeye will distribute Brillian's generation II liquid-crystal-on-silicon microdisplay products and components in North America and Europe.
• Molecular Imprints (MII), the US maker of step and flash imprint lithography kit, has signed an exclusive licensing agreement with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. MII plans to use the university's Moiré fringe alignment know-how in its nano-imprint lithography tools.