30 Jun 2006
• EXFO, which supplies test and measurement solutions to the telecoms industry, has announced year-on-year revenue growth of more than 35% for its third quarter. Sales for the period reached $35.4 m, an increase of almost 18% on the previous quarter. Gross margin also improved to 56.4% of sales to reach the highest level recorded by the company for the last 15 quarters. Particular areas of growth were in protocol testing and optical testing for fiber access networks, while the results mark the first complete reporting period since the acquisition of Consultronics earlier this year.
• Veeco Instruments and the Korea Photonics Technology Institute (KOPTI) are to join forces in the development of solid-state lighting solutions. Veeco will install its latest GaNzilla metal-organic chemical vapor deposition tool in the KOPTI facility, while Veeco experts will also work in the KOPTI lab. In return, Veeco and its LED customers will be allowed to use KOPTI's characterization and chip fabrication facilities. The agreement also offers the potential for the two organizations to share any technology and/or intellectual property created as part of the partnership.
• An award-winning dichroic color changer from Ocean Optics has made its Broadway debut as part of Disney's theatrical production of Tarzan. The SeaChanger color engine exploits dichroic filtering technology to create millions of brilliant, reproducible colors, and is the first color changer to offer hexachromic color mixing - where an "extreme green" color filter is added to the usual cyan, yellow and magenta filters.
• Apogee Enterprises, which provides glass and coating solutions for architectural, automotive and large-scale optical applications, has posted a 19% increase in first-quarter revenues compared to the same period last year. Sales for the quarter totaled $195 m, with an operating income of almost $8 m. Architectural products accounted for most revenues and growth, with sales for the sector increasing by 23% to reach $165 m, and operating income increasing by 54% to reach $5.6 m. The company expects strong earnings growth to continue through 2007.
• The Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) is to install a production aligner from SUSS MicroTec in its central research facility in Korea. The MA200Compact Mask Aligner will be used for various R&D projects, such as the fabrication of MEMS and display devices. The aligner offers an accuracy of less than 0.5 µm and a throughput of more than 100 wafers per hour.
• Advanced Photonix, a manufacturer of optoelectronic devices, high-speed optical receivers and terahertz instrumentation, has posted full-year revenues of $23.6 m, as compared with $14.8 m for the previous fiscal year, with around one-third of the total coming from the acquisition of Picometrix in May 2005. However, net income was down: 2006 saw a net loss of almost $3.5 m, while in 2005 the company enjoyed a net income of $5.3 m. The company is now working to reduce costs and improve manufacturing efficiencies, which will be achieved in part by consolidating its wafer fabrication facilities in California and Wisconsin into its Ann Arbor location.
• Zygo Corporation has received a production contract for laser-fusion optics that could be worth $45 m over the next seven years. An initial order, valued at approximately $1 m, is due to be shipped in fiscal 2007, while the new agreement provides for optional orders running until 2013. The amplifier optics, which will be used with the high-energy lasers exploited in fusion research, will be produced at Zygo's laser-fusion optics manufacturing facility in Middlefield, Connecticut.
• Lighting fixture manufacturer LSI Industries has bought SACO and its Smartvision brand of LED displays and lighting products in a deal worth $23 m in cash and more than 1.4 m shares - which were worth around $20 m just before the deal was closed. SACO, through its Smartvision brand, is one of the leading suppliers of indoor and outdoor LED video displays for sports stadiums and entertainment events, and also manufactures light engine, and custom solutions for the solid-state lighting market. SACO is expected to achieve sales of about $26.4 m for the current calendar year.
• Adaptif Photonics, a supplier of optical polarization analysis and control instrumentation, has appointed Ward Davis Associates to be its sole representative for California and Nevada. According to Adaptif, Ward Davis is the largest and most successful supplier of test and measurement equipment in their territory.