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Business briefs

09 Dec 2005

Including news from Agilent Technologies, Cree, OmniVision Technologies, GSI Group and more.

•  Agilent Technologies has completed the sell-off of its semiconductor business, which began operating under the name Avago Technologies as of December 1. The $2.66 billion deal gives equity firms Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Silver Lake Partners control of the world's largest privately-held semiconductor company.

•  Cree has licensed its US patent (number 6,600,175) governing white LED technology to Taiwanese LED chip maker Kingbright Electronic. The license allows Kingbright to manufacture and sell white LEDs that incorporate Cree chips. "This agreement gives Kingbright a critical IP license to address the rapidly growing markets for white LEDs," said the firm's CEO Wen Joe Song.

•  Omnivision Technologies, a US CMOS image sensor developer, says it has shipped over one million of its OV7930 VGA CMOS CameraChips to a leading toy maker. "This design win represents another milestone for OmniVision as we continue to drive the use of image sensors in the toy and games market by supplying solutions in high volume to another tier one toy vendor," commented the company's Hasan Gadjali.

•  GSI Group, formerly GSI Lumonics, has received an order in excess of $3 million for its WaferTrim systems. Used in the production of high-performance analog and power management devices, the systems are scheduled for delivery in Q1 of 2006.

•  XTREME technologiesof Germany says it has improved the output of an extreme ultraviolet (EUV) source to 800W in a proof-of-principle experiment. The company is part of a 36-month European project called More Moore, which has a grant of EURO 23.25 million ($27.5 million) to resolve technical problems in the field of EUV lithography.

•  Aixtron of Germany and the National Cheung Kung University of Taiwan are collaborating on a project to improve nitride-based photodetectors for wavelengths below 300 nm. The partners will focus on AlGaN structures and hope to improve the quantum efficiency of existing devices.

•  Pioneer of Japan has announced plans to consolidate its number of production sites from 40 to 30 with the loss of around 2000 jobs. The company says it will halt mass production of active-matrix OLEDs, but will continue research in the area. It also plans to withdraw from the thin-film transistor (TFT) business.

•  Optosecurity has raised $5.1 million in its first round of venture capital investment. The firm, a technology spin-off of National Optics Institute, Canada, is developing security products for the automated detection of weapons or explosive devices in cargo or luggage.

•  Panasonic has started pilot production of 50 GB Blu-ray discs in Torrance, California, US. The company has modified its existing single-layer manufacturing facility to replicate dual-layer discs that will suit full length high-definition video. Current DVD discs have a storage capacity of around 8.5 GB.

•  Andor of the UK, an expert in CCD and intensified cameras, has posted sales of £15.7 million ($27.5 million) in its first year as a publicly-listed company. The company has also announced a profit for the year of £910,000.

ECOPTIKLaCroix Precision OpticsTRIOPTICS GmbHMad City Labs, Inc.ABTechLASEROPTIK GmbHUniverse Kogaku America Inc.
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