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Business briefs

07 Oct 2005

Including news from Corning, Carl Zeiss, Jenoptik, LINOS, Micronic and more.

General company news:

•  Corning is investing $425 million over the next two years in its Taiwanese LCD glass substrate facility. The funding follows phase one and phase two investments of $750 and $326 million in the Taichung plant. Manufacturing is projected to begin at the plant in late 2006.

•  A free-to-join network for organizations involved in optical sensing of chemicals and gases is now up and running in the UK. The aim of the UK Optoelectronic Chemical Sensing Network (OptoCem.Net) is to build stronger links between academic research and the water, gas and oil industries and provide market analysis. The network has been funded with £234,000 from the UK's Department of Trade and Industry and will run until 2008. To find out more contact Alistair Tweedie at the Scottish Optoelectronics Association on Alistair.tweedie@optoelectronics.org.uk

•  Planar, a provider of flat panel displays, anticipates a $30-35 million non-cash write-down of goodwill associated with its medical business segment. The US firm is due to disclose its forth quarter results on 4 Nov.

•  NDC Infrared Engineering has installed additional sputtering and spectrometer equipment at its European headquarters to support increased thin-film optics business. Purchased from Satis Phononics and Perkin-Elmer, the equipment will be help the firm satisfy orders from astronomical and scientific customers.

•  NPD Group, a supplier of consumer and retail information, has acquired flat panel display market analysts, DisplaySearch. According to the firms, the acquisition will link analysts from both companies to give clients an unprecedented view of the rapidly growing $70 billion flat panel display market. DisplaySearch will operate as a member of the NPD Group.

•  Jenoptik Laser Optik Systeme of Germany has acquired a 51% stake in Sinar to become majority shareholder. The move strengthens Jenoptik's successful cooperation with the Swiss camera systems manufacturer.

•  The microscopy group of Carl Zeiss has granted fellow German firm La Vision Biotec licences to use several of its patents covering femtosecond multiphoton microscopy. Carl Zeiss acquired the exclusive global rights to this method from the US-based Cornell Foundation in 2004.

Contracts:

•  Zygo, a supplier of optical metrology, has received multiple orders from unnamed customers for its flat panel display process control system. According to the firm, its ONE SHOT system can improve inspection times by 30%.

•  Micronic Laser Systems of Sweden has received a significant order for its advanced LRS series photomask pattern generator from an unnamed Asian customer. Although undisclosed, the value of the order has forced the board to revise its 2005 order intake from more than SEK 945 million ($122 million) to over SEK 1200 million.

•  LINOS has received a EURO 12 million ($14.5 million) contract to supply optical systems for use in security technology. Orders at the German firm have now risen considerably over two successive quarters and are likely to amount to EURO 67 million by the end of Q3 2005.

•  Universal Display Corporation has been awarded a two year, $750,000 follow-on phase II contract by the US department of energy to develop a white OLED light source. In phase I, the firm demonstrated a 20% enhancement in light extraction using its TOLED structure integrated with an external reflector.

•  Photonic Products Group (PPG) has announced that its Laser Optics business unit has expanded its production capacity following an order from Raytheon. Under the terms of the agreement, PPG will produce specialty waveband optical components for a Raytheon imaging system. The value of the contract is undisclosed.

Schaefter und Kirchhoff GmbHSWIR Vision Systems Inc.Synopsys, Optical Solutions GroupBristol Instruments, Inc.Lumencor, Inc.Ocean InsightHÜBNER Photonics
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