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Business briefs

20 Jan 2006

Including news from Emcore, AU Optronics, Zygo, Ibsen Photonics and more.

•  Emcore, US, has acquired privately-held US firm K2 Optronics for $4.8 million in outstanding stock. K2 specializes in directly-modulated external-cavity lasers, which Emcore believes could be ideal for in cable television (CATV) and fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) applications. Emcore hopes that the acquisition will generate $7 million in revenue in calendar year 2006 and $14 million in 2007. Founded in 2000, K2 Optronics had already attracted around $45 million in venture funding prior to Emcore's initial investment in the company in February 2005.

•  Plextronics of the US has received a $1 million grant from the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority to develop its Plexcore product. Plexcore is an active-layer p-type semiconductor that is a crucial ingredient of organic solar cells. The grant will help Plextronics increase the efficiency and lifetime of its solar cells.

•  Universal Display Corporation (UDC) of the US has received a $69,999 Phase I SBIR contract from the US Army to develop "Flexible and Conformal Environmental Barrier Technology for Displays." The program involves UDC integrating a low-temperature plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition coating process with its OLED technology.

•  AU Optronics of Taiwan and its rival Samsung Electronics of Korea have signed a patent cross-license agreement covering both TFT-LCD and OLED technology. In a statement announcing the deal, AUO said: "AUO and Samsung expect the agreement to bolster the deployment of TFT-LCD technology in LCD TV, giving a new catalyst to strengthen the competitiveness of the two companies."

•  Ibsen Photonics of Denmark has been awarded US patent number 6,978,062 entitled "Wavelength Division Multiplexed Device". The patent concerns the use of multiple transmission gratings to provide high dispersion, while simultaneously taking advantage of the gratings' beam-folding properties to create a compact module.

•  Fuji Photo Film of Japan says it has developed a graded-index plastic optical fiber (POF) capable of transmitting data at speeds of greater than 10 Gbps. Called Lumistar-X, the company claims its POF is compatible with 850 nm VCSELs and has a bending radius of 10 mm.

•  US-based Zygo has received a follow-on order for five optical surface profilers from an undisclosed customer in the semiconductor industry. The five CP300i units, which offer high-speed profiling and subnanometer resolution, will be shipped within the next two quarters.

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