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Business briefs

17 Feb 2006

Including news from OmniVision Technologies, PI, JDSU, Konarka and more.

General company news:

•  JDSU has agreed to sell its manufacturing operations in Ottawa, Canada, to Fabrinet. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of fiscal 2006. "This transaction marks the end of our plan to transition all optical communications assembly manufacturing to Asia," said Debbie Shoquist, VP of global operations for JDSU.

•  OmniVision Technologies, a US developer of CMOS sensors, announced at this week's 3GSM conference that it has started volume production and shipments of its OV7670 VGA and OV9655 1.3 megapixel CameraChips. Measuring just 6 x 6 x 4.1 mm, the VGA sensor is said to enable ultra-thin handsets.

•  Korean TFT-LCD maker LG Philips has signed an evaluation agreement with Kodak of the US regarding active-matrix OLED (AMOLED) technology. Under the terms of the agreement, both firms will jointly evaluate display technology for mobile displays and explore the development and supply of AMOLEDs.

•  Cambridge Display Technology (CDT), UK, has acquired a portfolio of patent rights from Maxdem of the US. The deal includes five US patents and their foreign equivalents relating to new light-emitting polymer compositions and applications.

•  PI has set a deadline of March 31 for entries for its annual NanoInnovation grant. The award supports North American researchers developing processes or products that take advantage of nanopositioning systems. The winner can chose $25,000 worth of nanopositioning products from PI's catalog.

•  PI has also relocated its US west coast office this week from Tustin to Irvine, California.

Funding and contracts:

•  Konarka Technologies, the US developer of polymer photovoltaics, has raised $20 million in venture capital financing. The investment was led by 3i. "This funding will provide long-term financial support for our ongoing process and product development," said Howard Berke, Konarka's CEO.

•  Spire, US, has received an SBIR grant from NASA's John Glenn Research Centre to develop thermophotovoltaic (TPV) cells. TPVs use a semiconductor material to convert long wavelength thermal photons into electricity. The project may benefit space missions where conventional solar cells are limited due to the large distance from the Sun.

•  Micronic of Sweden says it has received an order for an LRS series pattern generation system from an undisclosed Asian customer. The system is used to produce photomasks for displays.

Distribution agreements:

•  The Optica Software Division of iCyt Mission Technology has signed a distribution agreement with Wolfram Research. From February 28, customers will be able to purchase Optica's Rayica and LensLab software through Wolfram's website. Optica says that all of its products are compatible with Wolfram's Mathematica software.

Optikos Corporation Mad City Labs, Inc.LASEROPTIK GmbHAlluxaUniverse Kogaku America Inc.ECOPTIKIridian Spectral Technologies
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