11 Jan 2007
Including news from Exfo, Flir Systems, Bookham, Philips-Lumileds, JDSU, Casabyte, Cermet, Georgia Institute of Technology, Hoya-Pentax, Mid-Atlantic Broadband, Infinera and others.
• Exfo Electro-Optical Engineering this week reported significant year-on-year growth in sales, earnings and gross margin for its first quarter of 2007, ended November 30, 2006. Results highlights included: a sales increase of 31% to $36 million ($27 million in Q1 2006); net earnings of $3.5 million ($0.4 million); improved gross margin to 57% (55%), Exfo's best quarter in five years. On top of this, the year saw five new products launched, including 10 GigE module for FTB-200 Compact Platform.
• Furthermore, Exfo was this week named recipient of the 2006 Growth Strategy Leadership Award for the digital subscriber line (xDSL) test equipment market by analyst Frost & Sullivan. The award is presented annually to the company whose growth strategy delivers the largest market-share gains in the global xDSL test equipment market.
• Flir Systems has received a $26.4 million order from Bell Helicopter, a division of Textron for its Brite Star II stabilized multi-sensor systems. The order is for production units for the Target Acquisition Sensor Suite as part of the US Army's Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter Program. Deliveries will begin in H2 2007.
• JDSU is to purchase Casabyte, a provider of service quality monitoring solutions for mobile network operators. Casabyte addresses the rapidly growing need for quality of service test solutions as network operators deliver bandwidth-intensive multimedia content over converged fixed-mobile networks.
• Hoya, a maker of optical glass, and Pentax this week announced an agreement "aimed at a management integration of the two companies". The agreement is scheduled to be signed in April and completed on October 1, 2007, with Hoya paying approximately $770 million in shares. The new company will be called Hoya Pentax HD Corp.
• Bookham has this week announced the issuance of a US patent for its DS-DBR laser, which underpins the company's portfolio of tunable laser technology. The patent protects the company's monolithic, widely tunable laser design. In the DS-DBR laser design, a multi-contact, chirped grating is used in conjunction with a grating that produces a comb of reflective peaks to give a broad tuning range.
• Bookham also announced that its VCSEL portfolio will make its debut at Photonics West later this month (January). Since acquiring Avalon Photonics and its VCSEL technology in March 2006 over one million VCSELs have been shipped. Bookham will also be introducing a polarization stable 850 nm single mode VCSEL and an 850 nm high power VCSEL array, designed to provide distributed laser illumination with high temperature stability and narrow spectral linewidth.
• Philips Lumileds has received a favorable ruling from the US International Trade Commission presiding over the company's patent infringement case against Epistar. Specifically, the ITC issued an Initial Determination that three Lumileds' patents are valid and enforceable, and that Epistar's "metal bond" and MB II products infringe the "718" patent. Philips Lumileds is seeking exclusion orders to prohibit importation and sale of the infringing LEDs.
• Cermet has negotiated an exclusive license agreement for white LED technology enveloped with the Georgia Institute of Technology. The technology utilizes nitride emitter structures, in combination with zinc oxide semiconductors to produce white light emitting diodes.
Fiber industry news
• Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative has selected Infinera for a long-haul regional network in the eastern US. The initial network deployment will provide network connectivity between US states Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia and the 1100+ km regional fiber network MBC has built in rural Virginia. The network is the first advanced open-access optical transport network project financed by MBC, a not-for-profit cooperative established with funding from the Virginia Tobacco Commission and the US Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration.
• Anritsu has introduced the MS2724B, a portable spectrum analyzer featuring continuous frequency coverage from 9 kHz to 20 GHz. Also new from Anritsu are the MS2721B and MS2723B handheld spectrum analyzers which offer frequency coverage up to 7.1 GHz and 13 GHz, respectively, as part of its expansion of the Spectrum Master range. The high performance and measurement capability of the MS272xB series make it easier for engineers and field technicians to design, deploy, and optimize the performance of wireless devices and networks ranging from commercial to defense and public safety.
• BFI Optilas International and Photon, collaborating in Europe, have announced the introduction of new measurement capabilities for so-called next generation fiber optic communications. In 2000, Photon developed the first instrument to measure the Encircled Flux of multimode fiber, a parameter specified by the Telecommunication Industry Association. The Encircled Flux Monitor, originally designed for 850 nm sources, now supports measurements at 1.3 µm and 1.5 µm. It also includes enhancements to the monitor's software for easier and improved data analysis.
• Apogee Photonics, supplier of the industry's broadest line of 10 and 40 Gbit/s laser sources for the communications industry, today announced a single platform approach for creating 10 Gbit/s transceivers based on its 1310 and 1550 nm laser sources. Customers can now manufacture new transceiver products for a wide range of optical network applications with one platform.
• Breault Research Organization has promoted Kimberly Matty to be VP Global Sales. Matty will lead BRO's team of sales representatives and engineers supporting the company's Advanced Systems Analysis Program (intended for virtual prototyping and analysis of optical systems and devices) in 35 countries. Matty brings to the position more than 13 years of sales and customer-service experience in high-technology, including service in the engineering-software and medical-imaging sectors.