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Business briefs

27 Oct 2006

Featuring news from Luxtera, JMAR Technologies, Olympus, Ocean Optics, Finisar, Exfo, Ultratech, Nanometrics, Time Warner Cable, Siemens, BFI OPtilas, e2v Technologies, Flir Systems, SPI Lasers and others.

Luxtera has demonstrated new technology that multiplexes four 10 Gbit/s wavelengths onto a single fiber on a production CMOS die - resulting in a single fiber 40 Gbit/s link. This reduces costs and paves the way for "next generation" 100 Gbit/s Ethernet data center connectivity. Luxtera recently sampled its single-wavelength 10 Gbit/s silicon photonics transceiver technology, implemented in standard SOI CMOS process with integrated InP sources. By combining this technology with WDM capability, Luxtera claims to be the first photonics company to demonstrate a feasibility of applying Moore's Law to fiber bandwidth scalability implemented in a low cost commercial CMOS fabrication process.

JMAR Technologies, a developer of laser-based technology and x-ray processes for imaging, analysis and nanoscale fabrication, has demonstrated its Naviar R&D programs to US industry and government representatives. The review is held annually to demonstrate the accomplishments of the collective JMAR divisions on tasks ranging from x-ray lithography and x-ray point source systems, to advanced inspection methods and materials development. A co-development project receiving special attention this year was the engineering design of a nano-coating system that can be used for high volume thin film coatings in both semiconductor and textile industries.

Olympus Integrated Technologies America, a subsidiary of Olympus, Japan, has received the first order from a large US integrated device manufacturer for multiple units of Olympus' 300 mm wafer inspection and defect review systems. The purchase includes multiple units of both the AL3100 inspection and review station and FR3200 DUV automated defect review station, which provides visible and DUV imaging with resolution to 80 nm.

Ocean Optics has established Ocean Optics Asia in Shanghai, China, to provide local support for the company's optical sensing, display optics, and biophotonics technologies. Headed up by director of Asia Operations Ling Sun, the office will enable the company to speed response and support for its distributors and customers with a staff of application, sales and software engineers.

Finisar has opened a technical support centre in Milan, Italy, to serve its growing customer base in EMEA. Finisar's range of synchronous digital hierarchy (SDH), wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) and datacom transceivers are utilized by all major telecommunications OEMs, storage and networking equipment manufacturers and industrial conglomerates throughout the territory.

Exfo Electro-Optical Engineering has reported positive results for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2006. Sales increased 32% to US$128 million (up from $97 million in 2005). In Q4 2006, sales reached $36 million ($35 million in Q3 / $26 million in Q4 2005). Net bookings totaled US$33 million in Q4 2006 ($38 million (-14.0%) in Q3 2006 / $25 million (+32.6%) in Q4 2005). "Exfo has had 12 consecutive quarters of growth, a 32% annual sales increase in 2006, and growth of 28% and 21% over the last three and 10 years, respectively, despite the 2001 telecom crisis," said Germain Lamonde, Exfo's chairman, president and CEO.

PMC-Sierra, a provider of high-speed broadband communications and storage semiconductors, has reported results for Q3 2006. Net revenues in Q3 2006 were $117 million, a decrease of 2% compared with $119 million in Q2 2006 but 53% up on Q3 2005. Net revenues in Q3 2006 included three months of revenue from the acquisitions of Passave (May 2006) and the storage semiconductor business of Avago Technologies (March 2006). Net income in Q3 2006 was $17.4 million compared with $19.4 million in Q2 2006. Net loss in Q3 2006 was $11.5 million compared with a net loss of $31.8 million in Q2 2006.

Ultratech has reported results for the three-month and nine-month periods, both ended September 30. It reported net sales of $34 million ($30 million in Q3 2005). Net loss for Q3 2006 was $2.6 million compared to a net income of $0.2 million in Q3 2005. For the first nine months of 2006, Ultratech reported net sales of $95 million ($87 million in the same period in 2005).

Nanometrics has launched the Vertex rapid photoluminescence mapping system used for compound semiconductor production control during volume manufacturing of optoelectronic devices, such as LEDs. The tool marks the first automated PL mapping system that predicts emission wavelengths for green LEDs at the wafer level. Green LEDs are vital for RGB-based LED displays and solid-state lighting applications.

Time Warner Cable has selected Surpass next-generation IP-based voice feature servers from Siemens Networks to accelerate VoIP deployments of TWC's digital phone service, now used by 1.6 million of its 14.4 million US subscribers. Surpass hiQ platforms support 150,000 subscribers in a single voice feature server, along with "carrier-grade" reliability

BFi Optilas has announced the availability of RoHS-compliant CO2 lasers, thanks to its collaboration with Universal Laser Systems (US). Available from 10-120 W in both air- and water-cooled configurations, the lasers can be easily integrated into most OEM systems and manufacturing lines. The new lasers are available with a variety of innovative options including a visible pointing laser that is coaxial with the main beam, an integrated turning mirror, a TTL temperature warning output that guards against overheating, and a fault indicator LED with pinouts for remote diagnostics.

• Having launched on 25 October, NASA's Stereo mission will rely on image sensors from e2v to capture detailed pictures of the Sun. The mission will use two simultaneously orbiting spacecraft to study the Sun in a three dimensional manner. The resulting 3D snaps will provide a world-first view of the Sun-Earth relationship from sideways on, and will also help to predict when space weather events will affect the Earth.

Gamma Scientific, a manufacturer of light-measurement instrumentation, has joined forces with UDT Instruments, a provider of electro-optical instruments, to create a comprehensive light-measurement solutions resource. Under this arrangement, UDT Instruments becomes a division of Gamma Scientific and has integrated its R&D, manufacturing and customer-support capabilities into Gamma Scientific's San Diego, Ca., US, headquarters.

Flir Systems has this week reported that revenue for its Q3, which ended September 30, 2006 increased 18% to $133 million from $113 million for Q3 2005. Earnings from operations increased 29% to $34 million, compared with $26 million in Q3 2005. Net earnings for this year's third quarter increased 56% to $27 million($17.3 million, last year).

SPI Lasers has introduced an employee share option scheme in which employees are invited to invest in the company either through salary transfer or by taking the pension contribution provided by the company in nil cost stock options rather than cash. The total number of shares involved is limited to 328,000 or 1.6% of total share capital and will utilise stock from the existing approved share option pool. SPI has also announced an increase in order inflow in its medical and marking sectors. Recent orders received from three customers for shipment by February 2007 exceed $1 million.

DataLase has appointed Anthony Jarvis to be technical services manager for the company's "on tablet" edible marking solution. Jarvis joins DataLase with the aim of commercializing the Pharmamark solution launching in late 2006.

Palomar Technologies, a developer of precision automation equipment and process development for microelectronic assembly, has been recertified as meeting the requirements of ISO 9001/ANSI-ASQ Q9001:2000 and is registered by SGS. Palomar was assessed and certified as meeting the requirements of ISO 9001:2000.

LightTrans International GmbHEKSMA OpticsTRIOPTICS GmbHSchaefter und Kirchhoff GmbHDIAMOND SAHÜBNER PhotonicsOmicron-Laserage Laserprodukte GmbH
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