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Business briefs

16 Jun 2006

Including news from QED Technologies, EXALOS, Samsung, OFS and others.

Harvatek, a Taiwan-based LED producer, plans to develop its high-power LED product line for LCD panel backlighting and other lighting applications, according to a report on the DigiTimes website. Although the handset market still accounts for 80% of Harvatek's revenues, with Avago being a major customer, there are concerns about inventory and demand. Harvatek has already won some high-power LED orders in Europe, and expects to ship 1-2 million units beginning in August.

• The market for optical components in telecom and datacom networks is expected to grow from $1.5 bn this year to more than $6.6 bn in 2011, according to a new report from CIR. The report, "Optical Components: The Next Wave", forecasts that sales of active components will rise from just under $1 bn to $4.8 bn over the same time frame, driven by rapid penetration of fiber into enterprise and access networks. Specific areas of growth include tunable lasers, the elusive market for reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexers, and novel solutions for supporting transmission at 40 Gbit/s.

QED Technologies, a US company that specializes in polishing and metrology systems for high-precision optics, is to be bought by Cabot Microelectronics. Cabot currently supplies the semiconductor industry with polishing slurries for chemical-mechanical planarization, and believes that the acquisition will enable it to expand into the precision optics market. QED's assets will be sold for between $19 m and $23.5 m, with the exact price to depend on the performance of the QED business over the two years after the transaction takes place. QED generated $12 m of revenue in its last fiscal year, and Cabot will assume its current liabilities of $2 m.

Samsung claims to have delivered the first Blu-ray disc players to US retailers, with availability to consumers scheduled for 25 June. At the same time, Philips announced that its Blu-ray player would be available in the shops by the third quarter of 2006. Blu-ray offers almost fives times the resolution of conventional DVDs, allowing viewers to watch high-definition (HD) discs on their HDTVs, and electronics manufacturers have competed hard to be the first to introduce the technology into the consumer market.

OFS, formerly the optical fiber solutions division of Lucent Technologies , has been recognized as a outstanding supplier to US network operator AT&T. OFS received one of 49 supplier recognition awards made by AT&T.

EXALOS, a Swiss-based supplier of superluminescent light-emitting diodes, has moved its corporate headquarters to a new facility in Schlieren, part the Greater Zurich area. The new location offers twice the space as the company's previous facility, and follows a rapid increase in sales revenues for the firm. According to Christian Velez, the company's CEO, revenues for the first six months of the current fiscal year is already double that achieved in the previous twelve months.

• Dutch company LioniX, which manufactures microsystems based on integrated optics and microfluidics, has appointed UIT to be their distributor in South Korea. UIT offers innovative technology solutions to the processing and manufacturing industries in the Asia-Pacific region.

Picarro, a manufacturer of solid-state lasers for bio-instruments, has conducted tests to show that its 488 nm lasers can achieve a mean-time-to-failure of 200 000 hours, some 25 times longer than is typical for the argon-ion lasers that are frequently used in bio-instrumentation. According to Picarro, the use of such highly reliable solid-state lasers can dramatically reduce the operating costs for users of laser-based bio-instruments.

ULM Photonics and LASER COMPONENTS have closed an exclusive distribution agreement for singlemode VCSELs in Europe. The agreement extends the relationship already established by the two firms in North America to the European market.

Universe Kogaku America Inc.CeNing Optics Co LtdFirst Light ImagingLaCroix Precision OpticsSPECTROGON ABIridian Spectral TechnologiesAlluxa
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