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19 Jan 2007

With news from NL Nanosemicondcutor (rebranding as "Innolume"), JDSU, Cree, Nextrom, Daetwyler, Thorlabs, OFR, Aculight, Canon, Toshiba, Aspectrics, Edmund Optics, Agilent, Novalux, Sharp, Princeton Lightwave, Evans Analytical, Novaled and others.

• Having split with founder Nikolai Ledentsov, quantum dot epiwafer specialist NL Nanosemicondcutor has renamed itself Innolume, writes Michael Hatcher, editor of Compound Semiconductor. The rebrand comes as the firm consolidates its acquisition of Zia Laser, and sets its sights on the emerging field of silicon photonics.

Innolume has also shaken up its senior management team under CEO J├╝rgen Kurb. The new structure features two CTOs: Larry West, who will concentrate on silicon photonics at Innolume's Santa Clara, CA, office; and Alexey Kovsh, who remains CTO of laser technology.

Also joining the senior ranks are Andreas Goebel, VP of photonics integration, and Gregory Wojcik, VP of engineering. Like West, they both worked on silicon photonics at Applied Materials. Although its core business is currently focused on the development and sale of quantum dot epiwafers at its Dortmund, Germany, manufacturing facility, where MBE capacity is being expanded currently, Innolume clearly sees a big future in silicon photonics.

"Within 10 years, the established approach of using electricity in copper wiring just won't work," Innolume says, adding that the ideal solution of using light in optical fiber is just simply too expensive. "We believe that the industry is at a tipping point where only disruptive technology can tip the balance from copper wiring to fiber-optics to allow the computing and networking performance to continue on its exponential growth path."

JDSU this week announced that it expects revenue for its fiscal 2007 second quarter, which ended on December 31, 2006, to exceed its previously issued guidance of $332 to $352 million. The company now expects to report Q207 revenue in the range of $360 to $365 million. The Communications Test & Measurement (CTM) segment performed well during Q2, benefiting from "seasonal strength". However, there was a small sequential revenue decline in JDSU's Optical Communications segment, associated with customer supply chain and inventory rationalization.

Cree has announced revenue of $88.8 million for second quarter, which ended December 2006. This represents a 16% decrease compared to revenue of $105.6 million (for the prior year period). Net income for Q2 was $16.5 million ($17.7 million). For the six-month period ended December 2006, Cree reported revenue of $192.7 million(-8%). Net income for the six-month period was $29.8 million ($39.4 million). "The second quarter was more challenging than we expected with lower LED chip sales," said Chuck Swoboda, Cree chairman and CEO. "We have continued to expand business by leveraging our strengths in LED chip and SiC technology. Our new product lines delivered double-digit growth in Q2, with LED component sales increasing to more than 10% of total LED revenue for the first time."

Nextrom, a subsidiary of the Austrian Knill Group, has acquired the shares of Daetwyler Fiber Optics, based in Boudry, Switzerland. Financial details were not disclosed. With 15 highly skilled employees, and with its state-of-the art facilities, the plant in Boudry produces high quality glass and specialty fiber. Sister company Daetwyler Cables says it is concentrating on the development of cables and system solutions, so is expected benefit from the advances made at the Boudry plant.

Thorlabs and OFR have announced the acquisition of OFR by Thorlabs. OFR has for 30 years supplied optical components, sub-systems, and systems to the photonics market. Its range include both free space and fiber-based optical isolators and circulators; and high performance objective lenses for both research and industry.

• A microscope technology invented by researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has been licensed by Thorlabs. The Adaptive Scanning Optical Microscope permits viewing of large areas of a sample without sacrificing image resolution. It is suited for automating tasks in biological laboratories, from diagnosing cancer to drug discovery. The technology was invented at the Center for Automation Technologies and Systems (CATS) at Rensselaer by Ben Potsaid, John Wen, and Yves Bellouard.

Aculight has signed a license agreement with Vanderbilt University, US, for fundamental IP related to the optical stimulation of neural tissue. This technology forms the foundation of Aculight's first medical research product, the Capella R-1850 Infrared Neural Stimulator (INS).

• In related news, Aculight has moved into a new corporate headquarters, increasing its floor space by 60% over its previous facility and consolidating staff into one building. The move reflects the company's growth and the enhancement of its manufacturing capabilities.

Canon and Toshiba have announced an agreement under which Canon will purchase all of Toshiba's shares in SED, which was jointly established by both companies. From January 29, SED will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Canon. The deal follows discussions between the pair based on the assumption of prolonged litigation pending against Canon with respect to SED.

Aspectrics, the developer of Encoded Photometric Infrared Spectroscopy (EP-IR) analyzers, has been granted a sixth US patent for its EP-IR disk technology and associated optics. Operating at a fast scan rate of 100 scan/s, these analyzers can measure multiple gas components in the ppb to ppm range simultaneously. They have also received the (US) Military 202G Method 204D certification for successfully passing the High Frequency Vibration Resistance Test.

Edmund Optics has announced that more than 8,500 products for the European marketplace will have lower prices in January, 2007. European customers will see the greatest price reductions - by as much as 24% - because of the weakening US dollar. EO says it can capitalize on this trend because of its ability to fill European orders locally.

Agilent Technologies has announced a new worldwide distribution program for its HMMC (High Definition Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuit) family of products. From March 1, orders for the HMMC products can be placed with distributors. Products include 16 mm-wave ICs (amplifiers, attenuators and switches) and two zero-bias detector diodes.

Novalux, developer of Necsel laser technology, has entered into a license agreement with Young Optics for Necsel-based RGB illumination devices for projection display products. According to the agreement, Novalux licenses its RGB laser reference design and will supply Young Optics with Necsel semiconductor chips. Young intends to enhance its foothold in markets such as microdisplay-based projection TV and Video Wall.

Sharp has successfully developed a 108V-inch LCD TV, said to be the world's largest, which was first demonstrated earlier this month at the 2007 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, US. This 108V-inch LCD screen, which measures 2.39(h)x1.34(v) m, features a Black Advanced Super View Full-Spec HD LCD Panel manufactured at Sharp's Kameyama plant.

Princeton Lightwave, a developer of InGaAs APDs, has introduced the "next generation" Single Photon Counting Bench-top Receiver for wavelengths from 1 to 1.5µm. The receiver offers what the company calls the lowest dark count rate in the industry with highest detection efficiency. The low dark count rate is obtained by using PLI's custom InGaAs Single Photon Counting Avalanche Photodiode.

Evans Analytical Group,a provider of surface analysis and materials characterization services, has announced its December 2006 acquisition of five additional companies: Cascade Scientific in both the UK and Germany; Shiva Technologies in both the US and Europe and Nano Science. EAG has also signed a Letter of Intent to acquire Shiva Technologies' affiliated lab in Bangalore, India.

People

Novaled has reinforced its management board with the appointment of Harry Boehme as CFO. Gildas Sorin, Novaled CEO, commented," Harry has a broad knowledge in commercial and stock corporation law, and a wide experience in corporate finance. His arrival has occurred at the right time for the further company development."

Spectrum Scientific Inc. -  SSI OpticsPhoton Engineering, LLCUniKLasersScitec Instruments LtdSacher Lasertechnik GmbHLouwersHaniqueOcean Insight
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