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Business briefs

01 Jul 2005

Including news from Micronic, Redshift, Cree, Sharp and more.

•  Cree, the US LED maker, has won a three-year supply agreement from OSRAM Opto Semiconductors of Germany. Effective immediately, Cree will supply OSRAM with a range of LED chips to June 2008. The value of the contract was not disclosed.

•  The Japanese electronics giant Sharp has started construction of a second LCD TV plant at its Kameyama facility. The facility will use eighth generation glass substrates (2.16 X 2.4 m) to produce TVs greater than 40 inches diagonal. This move is in response to the ever-growing popularity of flat screen LCD televisions, as well as the launch of HD-TV services. The yen 150 billion facility is due to be completed in 2006.

•  A German biophotonics project on live cell screening has been awarded EURO 2.5 million from the country’s government funding agency BMBF. The project is a collaboration between optoelectronic firms (TILL Photonics, Attocube Systems, Ibidi), a biotech company (ProCorde) and three academic institutions (University of Freiburg, University Hospital Münster and BioImaging Zentrum Munich).

•  Later this month, Taiwan Micro Display Corporation (TMDC) will start manufacturing optical engines for LCoS Rear Projection TVs in Taiwan and mainland China, according to the news agency On Target Media. Initially, TMDC will make optical engines with a panel resolution of 720P with plans to make 1080P engines in future. According to Clark Chen of TMDC, the company will make about 10,000 units this year, with a targeted output of 100,000 units for 2006.

•  Anticipating at least 30% annual growth in demand for glass substrates for hard disk drives (HDDs), Asahi Glass of Japan will start manufacturing about 1.5 million substrates per month at its Thailand facility from October. By 2007, Asahi expects to earn over $91 million in sales from this business, says On Target Media.

•  Micronic Laser Systems of Sweden has received three orders for its latest series pattern generation tool, used in the production of TFT-LCD displays. “We are experiencing a strong demand for our advanced TFT-LCD pattern generators as display makers increasingly employ more advanced photomasks in their drive to reduce costs,” said Sven Lofquist, CEO of Micronic.

•  The US Laser specialist New Wave Research and Opto Systems of Japan have formed a business partnership. The first result of the collaboration will be a range of Advanced Wafer-Scribing Systems (AWS) for the semiconductor industry. “The combination of our individual strengths provides a unique opportunity to set new benchmarks in LED wafer-scribing performance,” said Pei Hsien Fang, New Wave’s CEO.

•  The E-Holocam Project, an initiative to develop sub-sea holographic cameras, is one step closer to completion, thanks to the development of an extended coherence green laser by Elforlight. This prototype laser is now ready after 9 months of intense development and testing. It has been designed to transmit light pulses as effectively as possible through water, and generates 4 ns pulses at a wavelength of 532 nm. The three-year project began in January 2004, and brings together the University Of Aberdeen, CD Ltd and Elforlight.

•  Konaka, the US developer of organic photovoltaics, has signed a collaboration agreement with Kurz, a manufacturer of printed polymer electronics. KURZ plans to exploit Konarka’s flexible solar cells. “Integrating Konarka’s power plastic into our products will enable us to extend and enhance their functionality,” said Werner Reinhart, vice-president of KURZ. "Our customers will gain value, without affecting the products overall weight or size."

•  Redshift Systems, a company specialising in low-cost thermal imaging solutions, has spun out from its parent . “We see vast new opportunities for infrared imaging in markets that previously hadn’t considered it because costs were too high,” said Matthias Wagner, CEO of Redshift. “Now that Redshift has eliminated the cost barrier, customers are pulling us into their applications.”

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