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Business briefs

14 May 2007

Featuring news from Gooch and Housego, Trumpf, IPG, OpVista, SPI, Lantis, Aurora, Bookham, Rohm and others.

• Precision instrument manufacturer Gooch and Housego, UK, has acquired Sifam Fibre Optics, UK, in a transaction worth £5 million ($10 million). Sifam supplies fiber optics to the telecommunications, biomedical, industrial and aerospace markets, and reported revenues of £3.9 million ($7.8 million) and pre-tax profits of £0.2 million ($0.4 million) for the 12 months ended September 30 2006.

Trumpf, Germany, is expanding its existing laser factory, adding new offices and an application center to the facility in Ditzingen. A new machine tools development center will also be built on the site. The €50 million ($68 million) project is due to commence later in 2007 and be complete by mid-2009.

• Fiber laser manufacturer IPG, US, reported revenues of $41.8 million for the first quarter of 2007, up 28% from the equivalent quarter in 2006. Net income increased by 113% to $6.6 million. Growth was driven by increased sales of fiber lasers into the materials processing market, particularly kilowatt lasers for automotive cutting and welding, and pulsed lasers for marking applications. The company predicts revenues of $42-45 million for the second quarter of 2007.

OpVista, California, has secured $15 million in new capital to support sales and marketing of the company's OpVista2000 system and optical network architecture. The investment round was led by ComVentures with existing investors also participating, and brings the total company funding to date to $90 million. The company states that the new funding will be used to accelerate international market penetration.

SPI Lasers, UK, has received fixed orders worth $2.8 million during the second half of 2007 for its low power lasers used in the medical aesthetics and cosmetic enhancement sector.

Lantis Laser, US, has announced private financing worth $2.5 million to continue development of its dental imaging system based on optical coherence tomography. The company expects to have trials underway at five sites by the end of 2007, working towards the system's final specification.

Aurora Systems and Holoeye Systems, both US, have formed a strategic supply agreement to serve specialty markets. While Aurora provides Liquid Crystal on Silicon microdisplay products for consumer electronic applications, HSI will market Aurora products to specialty markets such as defense, biotech and industrial applications.

Bookham has posted Q3 results of $45 million, 20% less than in the prior quarter. However, revenues from companies other than Nortel reached $41.9 million, a 43% increase compared to the same period a year ago and essentially flat sequentially.

Rohm, Japan, has released a new PicoLED line of ultra-compact LED chips that are based on AlGaInP structures. The devices measure 1 mm x 0.6 mm and are 0.2 mm thick in their packaged form. The LEDs were developed to deliver higher brightness but with lower power consumption.

People

• Theodore Maiman, who built the first working laser, passed away on 5th May aged 79. Maiman made his breakthrough in 1960 by generating pulses of coherent light from a fingertip-sized lump of ruby illuminated by a flash lamp, while employed by Hughes Aircraft Corporation. In doing so he beat a number of other physicists to the post, including Charles Townes, who had earlier developed the maser, the microwave forerunner of the laser. A full obituary can be found on physicsweb.

• Pierre Champert has been named technical sales manager for Bookham's high power laser diode business unit, based in Zurich. The appointment will strengthen support and service to customers in the region, with particular focus on France.

Avo Photonics, US, has appointed Jeff Perkins as VP of Operations. Perkins will manage Avo's production services, and joins from JDS Uniphase.

StockerYale has appointed Sylvain Rioux as director of research and development for the company's laser business unit, based in Montreal, Canada. He will manage all R&D projects of StockerYake Canada and develop new markets and applications. He joins from Roctest.

IPG has announced the promotion of Bill Shiner to vice president of industrial markets. Shiner will serve on IPG's management team and will be responsible for developing industrial sales worldwide.

• Wajid Ali has been named chief financial officer of Dalsa. Ali joins from AMD, where he headed the finance function for the company's second largest business unit.

Omicron-Laserage Laserprodukte GmbHEKSMA OpticsOptikos Corporation Schaefter und Kirchhoff GmbHFocuslight TechnologiesOcean Insight IncHyperion Optics
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