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Intense buys High Power Devices to create 'global diode laser force'

08 Mar 2007

Merger builds leadership position in high-power laser diodes and laser arrays for print and imaging, medical, defence and industrial roles. Intense CEO Scott Christie tells optics.org more about the deal and his future plans.

Intense, the UK-based developer of next-generation modular laser products for printing, defence and industrial applications, has acquired High Power Devices (HPD), US, a manufacturer of customized high-power laser diodes. Financial details of the all-private company transaction were not given.

HPD's high-volume manufacturing facility produces hundreds of thousands of devices annually for the defence, medical and industrial markets. Key to HPD's range is its patented Asymmetric Waveguide (AW) technology, which increases the output and reliability of high-power laser diodes, reduces beam divergence and improves electrical and thermal performance.

The power degradation of a high-power laser is related to the optical power density in its quantum-well active region. Using a patented asymmetric epitaxial structure, the optical energy is spread into a larger waveguide, reducing the power density in the quantum well and producing a significantly more robust and efficient device.

Intense CEO Scott Christie told optics.org, "This acquisition is a core part of our business strategy: opening up the high-power laser market, the defence, industrial and medical markets, and the US market, and recognizing that the combination of the Intense and HPD technologies should lead to world-beating laser performance in a relatively short space of time.

"HPD has some great asymmetric structure technology, a wide range of laser products and excellent, highly efficient packaging skills. Combined with our Quantum Well Intermixing (QWI) technology, these capabilities will enable Intense–HPD to grow market share quickly in the high-power laser market."

Christie believes that Intense will benefit from HPD's US market penetration in defence, medical and industrial applications. "In turn, HPD will benefit from Intense's position in print and imaging sectors and from its strong European presence," he said. "Both companies will benefit from the combination of QWI and AW, which will enable the phased introduction of industry-leading laser diodes through 2007 and beyond."

The merged company, which will continue to be called Intense, retains its head office in the UK and operates through two "centres of excellence". The UK business, based in Glasgow, Scotland, will continue to focus on the development and production of monolithic laser array products for the global print and imaging markets. The US business in North Brunswick, NJ, called Intense HPD, focuses on the development and production of high-power laser products for the industrial, defence and medical markets.

"The combined business has an internationally acclaimed research and development team headed by John Marsh, which offers customized products to a wide range of customers," said Tom Moritz, co-founder of HPD and new head of US operations for the combined group. "From laser-array products for the graphic-arts industry through to high-power single emitters for military range finders, we will meet the demands of this complex market on both sides of the Atlantic."

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