23 Jun 2006
Including news from Jenoptik, CVI Laser, Koheras, Quintessence Photonics, and others.
• Fiber-optic component supplier NeoPhotonics has acquired two companies and raised new equity funding totaling $50 m. The two companies are LightConnect, a manufacturer of MEMS-based components for fiber-optic applications, and OpTun, which has developed optical chips for reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexers. The details of the acquisitions were not announced. In a related move, NeoPhotonics has further strengthened its position in MEMS technology through the acquisition of 25 MEMS patents from MEMX Corp.
• Quintessence Photonics Corporation, a subsidiary of QPC Lasers that specializes in high-power semiconductor lasers, has won a US Government contract to develop high-power lasers operating in the mid-infrared. The Phase III award is a continuation of previous development activity funded by the US Army. Lasers operating in the mid-infrared have a variety of defense and homeland security applications, since optical transmission at these wavelengths is relatively immune to environmental factors such as fog, smoke and the solar background.
• Jenoptik has completed its acquisition of unique-mode, a Jena-based company that specializes in miniaturized optical systems. The new company, which has 15 employees, will operate under the name Jenoptik unique-mode, and made its first appearance under the Jenoptik brand at this week's Optatec trade show in Frankfurt, Germany. Unique-mode was founded in 2000 as a spin-off from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Mechanics, and generated sales of €2 m in 2005.
• Fogale Nanotech, a French supplier specializing in ultrahigh-precision dimensional metrology, has appointed Armstrong Optical to be its distributor in the UK. Armstrong Optical already represents a number of photonics manufacturers in the field of optical metrology.
• Optics specialist CVI Laser has improved its manufacturing and inventory systems to enable next-day shipping for its entire line of optical mounts and crystal quartz waveplates - and even same-day shipping for order placed before 1pm. Its multiple- and zero-order crystal waveplates are available in 45 standard wavelengths, while rapid turnaround times can also be achieved for waveplates in custom wavelengths and sizes.
• Laser Detect Systems (LDS), a subsidiary of ITL Optronics that develops long-distance, laser-based trace detection solutions, is to be acquired by TraceGuard Technologies, which specializes in innovative security technologies. LDS has commercialized a spectroscope laser that can detect explosive materials, and has also developed laser-based mineral-identification systems. Its technology could also be used for medical diagnosis, food quality control and other industrial applications.
• Danish fiber laser manufacturer Koheras and LG-Laser Technologies, which since 2004 has been majority owned by Koheras, will now both come under the Koheras banner. Koheras originally acquired a stake in LG-Laser Technologies to gain a stronger presence in the German market, and the two companies will now present a joint portfolio of laser products.
• OLED microdisplays from eMagin have been deployed in new head-mounted displays from Liteye. The displays exploit Liteye's patented prismatic optic and universal mount, which allows users to locate the display in virtually any position.
• The MicroOptical Corporation, which is developing products for the emerging video eyewear market, has raised funding totaling $11.5 m. The money will in part be used to accelerate manufacturing operations for the company's myvu product, which plugs into video-enabled mobile appliances to enable users to watch video content on the go.