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Business briefs

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.

SPECTROGON ABFirst Light ImagingHÜBNER PhotonicsBerkeley Nucleonics CorporationABTechHyperion OpticsLaCroix Precision Optics
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