15 Jul 2005
Including news from Corning, LG Philips, XTREME, IMRA and more.
• Axsys Technologies, a manufacturer of thermal cameras, has been awarded a $6.9 million contract from the US military to supply units for use in the Middle East. The cameras suit surveillance missions conducted in complete darkness and are due for delivery over the next 18 months.
• Micronic of Sweden, a maker of pattern generators used to produce photomasks, has opened an office in Toyko, Japan – its first facility outside of Sweden. The 1000 m2 office will provide support for Micronic’s display and semiconductor customers in the region. It will also house a range of Micronic’s equipment allowing customers to test the products and receive hands-on training.
• LG Philips will start mass production of 42- and 47-inch LCD TV panels at its seventh generation fab, P7, in the first half of 2006. With an investment of about US$5.1 billion and designed to use 1950 x 2250mm glass substrate, P7 will have an initial monthly capacity of 45,000 input sheets. The company claims its panels also now conform to Recycling of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) standards to be implemented by the EU in July 2006. Source: On Target Media
• SAES Getters, an expert in vacuum technology, is acquiring a 30% stake in fellow Italian firm Scientific Materials Europe, a specialist producer of optical grade Nd:YAG laser rods. The partnership will focus on two areas: extending the YAG portfolio to include Er: and Yb:YAG crystals and consolidating lithium tantalite production.
• Corning of the US and HCT Shaping Systems of Switzerland say they have successfully completed a seven-week production test run on the world’s largest multi-wire saw. Weighing in at 50 tons, Corning will now acquire the 8m high saw to cut fused silica used in the production of LCD image masks blanks.
• Cranfield University in the UK has delivered a set of spectrometer optics for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), which will replace the Hubble Telescope. A laser-based measuring technique developed at Cranfield has also been adopted as the standard way to measure the mid-infrared spectrometer optics deployed on the JWST.
• T.I.C. Citizen, a subsidiary of Citizen Watch, will launch a range of curved clocks in March 2006 that exploit electronic paper displays developed by the US firm E Ink. According to Citizen, the E Ink display offers “good readability with high brightness and high contrast ratio, low power consumption and a flexible form allowing for more design creativity”. Measuring 190×500×30mm, the clocks suit installation on curved walls and pillars and are expected to retail for around the $2000 mark, reports On Target Media.
• The UK’s highest resolution Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometer has been installed by Bruker Optics at the molecular spectroscopy facility at the CCLRC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL). Access to the IFS125HR is available to all academic and industrial researchers in the UK and abroad.
• Optical molecular imaging specialist Advanced Research Technologies (ART) has closed a $5.9 million financing round with OppenheimerFunds. The Canadian firm is developing imaging devices for the healthcare industry.
• US-based fiber laser technology firm IMRA has signed a license agreement with the University of Michigan. The agreement allows IMRA to offer its customers a patented materials processing technique using a femtosecond laser-based micromachining station. The University of Michigan patent discloses a method for producing micron-level features in materials without inducing thermal damage to surrounding material.
• XTREME, the joint technology venture of Jenoptik and Lambda Physik, has a new shareholder. Japanese light specialist USHIO has acquired all of Lambda’s shares in XTREME, making it a partner holding 50% of the EUV light source company. Lambda has chosen to concentrate instead on its core markets in industrial, scientific and OEM medical areas.