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Business briefs

17 Dec 2004

Including news from Universal Display Corporation, Seiko Epson, Samsung, Sony and more.

General company news:

•  Universal Display Corporation (UDC), US, has teamed up with Seiko Epson of Japan to develop phosphorescent OLED displays by ink-jet printing. The multi-year project hopes to lower the production costs of large-area OLED displays. "We believe that the brightness, long lifetime and power efficiency of our technology along with Epson's ink-jet expertise will accelerate the development of large-area OLED displays," said UDC's president Steven Abramson.

•  Electronics giant Samsung and Sony have signed a cross-licensing agreement giving each party access to certain patents held by the other firm. According to Sony, the deal covers patents considered to be "basic technologies" which will help both firms keep pace with new development in digital technologies. Sony adds that design rights and "differentiation technology patents" such as PlayStation architecture are excluded from the deal. The agreement also excludes TFT-LCD and OLED display patents.

•  Coherent has said that its Lambda Physik subsidiary will discontinue future product development and investment into the semiconductor lithography market. Lambda will continue to support its installed lithography base. "Based upon careful analysis of market conditions, Lambda management concluded its new 193 nm LithoTex laser will not generate a satisfactory economic return and its deployment has been cancelled," said Coherent's CEO John Ambroseo.

•  IPG Photonics' German subsidiary has opened a new 20 000 square foot factory in Burbach, Germany, to increase its production capacity for high power fiber lasers. "With our new factory, IPG can produce more than 30 kilowatt-class lasers per month which will be sufficient to fill multiple orders in 2005," said IPG's CEO Valentin Gapontsev. "We are now building a similar facility in Massachusetts to meet demand in 2006."

•  VISX of the US has been granted US FDA approval to treat farsightedness, known as hyperopia, and astigmatism using its CustomVue laser vision correction procedure. According to VISX, CustomVue is the first wavefront-guided laser treatment for hyperopia to receive FDA clearance.

Acquisitions:

•  II-VI Incorporated has acquired fellow US firm Marlow Industries for $31 million in cash. Marlow, which makes thermoelectric cooling products, will be merged into II-VI's compound semiconductor segment.

•  L-3 Communications of the US has acquired Cincinnati Electronics from CMC Electronics from an undisclosed sum. Cincinnati makes a range of products including infrared detectors, image sensors and missile warning systems. The company will be renamed L-3 Communications Cincinnati Electronics.

Funding and financial results:

•  Transmode Systems of Sweden, a maker of optical networking systems, has completed a $15 million financing round. Existing investors Amadeus Capital Partners, Pod Holding and European Equity Partners participated in the round along with new investor HarbourVest Partners.

•  Finisar of the US has reported record revenues of $71 million for its second fiscal quarter of 2005. The figures are up 15% sequentially from $61.9 million in the first quarter and 66% from $42.8 million for the prior year quarter. Despite these rises, the company also posted a second quarter net loss of $23 million. This compares with a net loss of $32.6 million recorded in the same quarter of fiscal 2004.

CHROMA TECHNOLOGY CORP.Optikos Corporation Hyperion OpticsTRIOPTICS GmbHMad City Labs, Inc.AlluxaSPECTROGON AB
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